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Full text of "Chicago stories"

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Chicago Stories 



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Chicago Stories 

By GEORGE ADE 

Illustrated by 
John T. McCutcheon and Others 



Selected and Edited with an Introduction by 
Franklin J. Meine 



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The Henry Regnery Company, Chicago 

1963 



The "Stories of the Streets and of the Town" 
appeared in The Chicago Record from 1893 to 
1900, and are here reprinted through the permis- 
sion and courtesy of The Chicago Daily News. 
Copyright, 1941, The Caxton Cluh y Chicago, III. 




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Foreword 



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To write an adequate historical and literary intro- 
duction to George Ade' s stories and John T. 
McCutcheons drawings is a task of almost book-length 
proportions. In this limited space it has been possible 
to make only the very briefest comment, with the hope that 
the train of thought, once started, would gather momentum. 

The selection of only a few stories and pictures out of 
thousands has been exceedingly difficult. There are literally 
hundreds more equally good — plenty for a more extended 
production, but again it has been necessary to select se- 
verely in order to keep this anthology in proportion. 
Emphasis has been put upon those sketches which are 
important for their value in revealing the social life of 
Chicago rather than for their literary significance, although 
the latter phase has not been overlooked. 

All notes and footnotes are gathered briefly at the back of 
the book, and are referred to by number in the text. 

The writer wishes to express sincere appreciation for 
the enthusiasm and co-operation of Charles H. Dennis, 
John T. McCutcheon, and George Ade in giving gener- 
ously of their time and in contributing their reminiscences. 

The writer also wishes to express his thanks to Mrs. 

John T. McCutcheon, Sr., and John T. McCutcheon, Jr., 

and George Ade Davis for their approval of this special 

edition. 

Franklin J. Meine 




J&fteWf'*' 



OLD LA SALLE STREET 



Contents 



Page 

Foreword v 

Introduction ix 

A Young Man in Upper Life 3 

Since the Frenchman Came 8 

The Mystery of the Back-Roomer 13 

In Chicago But Not of It 18 

Mr. Pensley Has a Quiet Day "Off" 23 

"Stumpy" and Other Interesting People .... 29 

Small Shops of the City 34 

The Intellectual Awakening in Burton's Row ... 39 

Some Instances of Political Devotion 45 

Old Days on the Canal 51 

With the Market-Gardeners 55 

Fair-Minded Discussion in Dearborn Avenue ... 60 

Little Billy as a Committeeman 65 

At the Green Tree Inn 70 

The Advantage of Being "Middle Class" . ... 75 

The Junk-Shops of Canal Street 79 

A Breathing-Place and Play-Ground 83 

Vehicles Out of the Ordinary 87 

"Hobo" Wilson and the Good Fairy 92 

How "Pink" Was Reformed 98 

After the Sky-Scrapers, What? 104 

Sidewalk Merchants and Their Wares 109 

Some of the Unfailing Signs 114 

A Plantation Dinner at Aunt Mary's 119 

Mr. Benson's Experience with a Maniac 124 

Artie Blanchard 128 

A Story from the Back Streets 133 

Sophie's Sunday Afternoon 135 

Olof Lindstrom Goes Fishing 141 

vii 



viii Contents 

Page 

The Glory of Being a Coachman 145 

Chicago High Art Up to Date 150 

How " Pick" Caught the " Battle-Row" . 153 

Life on a River Tug . . . 157 

Clark Street Chinamen 163 

From the Office Window . . 167 

Where the River Opens to the Lake 171 

"Slim's" Dog 174 

II Janitoro 177 

Min Sargent 181 

Pink Marsh 185 

"Doc" as Lothario 190 

The Barclay Lawn Party .195 

Handsome Cyril; or, The Messenger Boy with the 

Warm Feet 201 

Clarence Allen, the Hypnotic Boy Journalist . . . 208 

Rollo Johnson, the Boy Inventor 214 

The Fable of Sister Mae 220 

An Incident in the "Pansy" 222 

The Old Spelling School 228 

The "Lush" Tries and Fails 233 

An Experiment in Philanthropy 238 

In the Roof Garden 243 

The Hickey Boy in the Feathers 247 

A Social Call 252 

At "Larry's Lunch" 257 

"Gondola" Wilson's Misfortune 264 

Effie Whittlesy 269 

Notes 277 



Introduction 

CHICAGO — Port of Humorists — supreme and unchal- 
lenged—the home port of George Ade, John T. 
McCutcheon, "Mr. Dooley" (Finley Peter Dunne), 
Eugene Field, Bert Leston Taylor, Ring Lardner, Franklin 
P. Adams, to mention only a favored few. Two of these 
humorists were born in the city proper; others were born 
within the reaches of the afterglow of the Chicago Fire; 
most of them enjoyed their happiest creative years in Chi- 
cago. 1 

George Ade's earliest memory of his youth at Kentland 
was "that one night in October, just as far back as I can 
reach into the past, we sat on the fence and looked at a blur 
of illumination in the northern sky and learned that the city 
[Chicago] which we had not seen was burning up in a highly 
successful manner." 2 

"Other cities have produced other humorists," observed 
Tom Masson, who for twenty-five years was editor of Life, 
the old humorous weekly, "but Chicago appears to be the 
right atmosphere for a humorist to grow up in. After he has 
grown up, has suffered enough from his environment, so to 
speak, he may go elsewhere with personal safety, but it is 
doubtful if he will ever do anything better than what 
Chicago has given him to do." 3 

Great humorists, yes. Great artists, yes. Great literary 
men too, for humor was only one of their many creative 
qualities. Theirs was a literature of everyday life, a native 
literature, that found unique expression in the Middle West. 
In Chicago that life found focus, and these humorists, in jest 
and in sober thought, captured its spirit and sketched it 
quickly and colorfully on a broad canvas, delightfully, spon- 
taneously, with a friendly heart zvarmpth that was the pulse 
of Chicago. 

Life in Chicago in the Gay Nineties was brilliantly and vi- 
vaciously mirrored in "Stories of the Streets and of the 
Town," a feature newspaper column or department, written 



IX 



x Introduction 

by George Ade and illustrated by John T. McCutcheon. For 
seven years, from November 20, 1893 to November 7, 1900, 
this department appeared anonymously on the editorial page 
of The Chicago Record. There this feature held spot space: it 
occupied about one and one-half columns of type and pic- 
tures in the center of the page, with a two-column head 
across the top. "The daily grind, allowing for the breaks on 
account of cuts, had to be anywhere from fifteen hundred to 
eighteen hundred words in order that the stuff* would get well 
below the fold on the second column." 4 

The "Stories" drew upon all phases of city life, as a glance 
at the table of contents will quickly reveal. They ranged 
from candid-camera shots to phantasy and fiction based upon 
everyday life: one day a story about "The Junk Shops of 
Canal Street"; the next day "Hobo Wilson and the Good 
Fairy"; still another day, "Erne Whittlesy." 

Curiously enough, although the column was exceedingly 
popular, the author remained anonymous to his newspaper 
public. Said Ade: "I kept my two-column department going 
for seven years. Before I retired to the clover pasture and 
began to steal money by syndicating, I had published four 
books, all of the material having first appeared in the paper. 
I was somewhat known at the bookshops, but to the readers 
of The Record I was still an unknown speaking from the dark- 
ness. Never, by hint or suggestion, was it made known to our 
subscribers that behind the story department there might be 
hiding a human being with thoughts and emotions worth 
recording. I peered through the camera for seven years and 
never stood in front of it once. The compositors working on 
my hand-written gems never had to reach for an upper-case 
'I.' " 5 

Selected stories, after their newspaper appearance, were 
issued in series in book form in paper wrappers. 6 In all there 
were eight such series issued by The Chicago Record, and sold 
to their readers at twenty-five cents each. The Record boast- 
fully advertised that these stories and sketches were "com- 
monly conceded to be the best things of their kind printed." 

This newspaper feature and the resultant series of eight 
"paper-backs" constitute one of the choicest contributions 



Introduction xi 

to Chicago's literary reputation and to Chicago's social his- 
tory. Indeed, the First Series, dated April I, 1894, is the first 
appearance in book form of George Ade and/or John T. 
McCutcheon, and antedates by years their better-known, 
hardbound books subsequently published by Herbert S. 
Stone & Co. 

These stories of the streets are important Chicagoana: 
they are candid-camera shots of Chicago by artists, literary 
and graphic, who knew how to select their episodes and char- 
acters, and how to highlight them. Yet, unique in Chicago's 
literary history, these browned "paper-backs" are now al- 
most unknown; few of them have survived the rigors of well- 
thumbed reading or of the housecleaning activities of the 
gentler sex. 

Ade's stories and McCutch eon's sketches appropriately 
appeared in The Chicago Record. It was a distinctly cultural 
paper, with an accent on an elite Society tone. Here the 
Hoosier humorists found their port, and a suitable setting for 
their artistry; they enjoyed at least a favorable audience. 

* * * 

The Record was the morning counterpart of The Chicago 
Daily News, both of which were owned and operated by 
Victor Lawson, whose managing editor was Charles H. 
Dennis. To Charles Dennis Chicagoans owe much, for, 
among many notable achievements, it was he who recog- 
nized the genius of his young reporters, Ade and Mc- 
Cutcheon, and provided adequate opportunity for their 
expression. This same fine stalwart gentleman, Editor 
Emeritus of The Chicago Daily News, tells his story in a 
letter to the writer: 

THE CHICAGO DAILY NEWS 
Daily News Plaza, Chicago 

July 2, 1940 
Dear Mr. Meine: 

In response to your request that I set down on paper my recollec- 
tions of the circumstances under which "Stories of the Streets and 
of the Town," George Ade's famous series of sketches published in 
The Chicago Record, of which I was then managing editor, came 



^-— -.=. ■,,-=■ 



xii Introduction 

into existence, I give you these particulars out of a clear memory 
of the affair. 

Ade joined the reporting staff of The Record in, I believe, 1890. 
His close boyhood friend, John T. McCutcheon, already was a 
member of the newspaper's staff of artists and their friendship 
doubtless led Ade to apply there for a reporter's job. From the 
outset Ade was a brilliant success as a news gatherer. This fact, 
together with his skill as a writer and his fine sense of humor, 
brought him rapidly to the front. Consequently, when I made up a 
staff of reporters to work on the grounds of the Chicago World's 
Columbian Exposition some months before it was opened to the 
public in the spring of 1893, Ade was the star writer of that small 
galaxy. I established then on the editorial page of The Chicago 
Record a feature occupying the last two columns, which appeared 
daily for considerably more than a year under the heading, "All 
Roads Lead to the World's Fair." Ade wrote many of the sketches 
which appeared there and McCutcheon made many of the illustra- 
tions. The feature was markedly successful. 

When the Exposition closed in the fall of 1893, the "All Roads" 
feature came to an end. Ade returned to the newspaper's regular 
reporting staff, where he went on writing articles and sketches in 
his own delightful fashion. His copy went to the copy desk in the 
city room, where, in the massacre of copy necessary to bring every- 
thing down to volume that would fit the restricted space allotted 
to local news, Ade's articles suffered grievous mutilation. Knowing 
that whatever he wrote was amply good enough to appear in print 
exactly as it came from his hand, I shared his exasperation over the 
terrible hash made of his articles. So I told Ade soon that he and 
McCutcheon might have the two columns on the editorial page 
lately vacated by the World's Fair feature and that they might use 
it every day, subject to my supervision, in any way they liked. I 
chose for the new feature the title which it bore from first to last. 

Ade and McCutcheon went to work with pencil and drawing pen. 
It is my recollection that Ade consistently shied away from the 
typewriter and that his copy always came to my desk in his own 
bold and very legible handwriting. The immense success achieved 
by him through the inimitable sketches contributed daily is now 
generally accepted as a bright spot in newspaper history. McCutch- 
eon's drawings were as excellent in their way as was Ade's light and 
friendly touch in depicting with convincing fidelity phases of a 
city's everyday life. It is further to the credit of those two fine 
young Hoosiers, upon whom for many years the American public 
has looked with peculiar affection, that — and this fact is not gen- 



Introduction xiii 

erally known — while they carried on their editorial-page feature, 
Ade and McCutcheon were collaborating every day in the produc- 
tion of a cartoon for The Record's first page. Ade would come to my 
office fairly early in the forenoon and he and I would talk over 
ideas for a cartoon. Having hit upon one satisfactory to both of us, 
Ade would carry it to McCutcheon, who would sketch it out. In 
that early part of his career, McCutcheon drew many cartoons that 
ranked well up with his later and more finished work. 

Sincerely yours, 

Charles H. Dennis 
* * * 

In the "Stories of the Streets and of the Town" Ade and 
McCutcheon achieved a joint artistry in which their separate 
arts, the literary and the graphic, were perfectly blended. 
The turn of the phrase and the simple pencil line were expert- 
ly woven into a rich tapestry which revealed the mood and 
the manner of Chicago in the Gay Nineties. For their most 
enjoyable effects these "Stories" depend upon this harmony 
of prose and picture. 

Mark Twain — he of the piercing eye — immediately sensed 
this artful blending when, in a letter to William Dean 
Howells, he said of the "Pink Marsh" stories: 7 

July 22/08 
Dear Howells — 

Thank you once more for introducing me to the incomparable 
Pink Marsh. I have been reading him again, after this long interval, 
& my admiration of the book has overflowed all limits, all frontiers. 
I have personally known each of the characters in the book & can 
testify that they are all true to the facts, & as exact as if they had 
been drawn to scale. And how effortless is the limning! It is as if the 
work did itself, without help of the master's hand. 

And for once — just this once — the illustrator is the peer of the 
writer. The writer flashes a character onto his page in a dozen 
words, you turn the leaf & there he stands, alive & breathing, with 
his clothes on and the African ordor [sic] oozing out of him! What 
a picture-gallery it is of instantly recognizable, realizable, un- 
assailable Authentics! 

Pink — oh, the shiftless, worthless, lovable black darling! How- 
ells, he deserves to live forever. Mark 



m 



xiv Introduction 

This weaving together of their arts derived largely from 
the unusual similarity of backgrounds, talents, desires of 
author and artist. Both native Hoosiers, they had been 
"buddies" in college: at Purdue, George, class of '87, in 
search of fraternity pledges, found John T., class of '89, 
"stalking around in a long cut-away coat," and induced him 
to join Sigma Chi. After McCutcheon had obtained a toe 
hold on the old Chicago Morning News in 1889, he wrote 
"glamorous letters about life in the big city" to Ade in 
Lafayette, who was then writing testimonials advertising a 
tobacco-habit cure. Previously Ade had been struggling on 
Lafayette newspapers, which paid mostly in meal-tickets on 
a cheap restaurant which was a heavy advertiser. 

"The following June (1890) George came up, and was pre- 
sented to the editorial powers at the Morning News office 
where he was given a tryout, doing weather, at $12.00 a 
week." Immediately, Ade put Weather on the Front Page. 
The Morning News later evolved into the News Record, and 
then into The Chicago Record. 

"George came up to Chicago before the Blackstone was 
built, so we were obliged to take a room about a block farther 
south near the corner of Peck Court. A tablet now marks the 
spot. It says 'Peck Court.' This was the beginning of our hall- 
bedroom days, days when both of us worked on the old 
Morning News, he writing and I drawing — days when we 
weren't quite poor enough to have beautiful ladies bring 
Christmas baskets to us and not quite rich enough to buy the 
Christmas baskets ourselves. 

"This hallroom that we inhabited was not a mere figure of 
speech. There was no vulgar display of wealth in its modest 
appointments — nothing to distract our minds from the calm 
contemplation of our literary and artistic aspirations. It was 
called a comfortably furnished room for refined gentlemen, 
but this was fulsome flattery and most misleading. It was 
not comfortably furnished. Fortunately, at that time, we 
didn't know the difference between a hall bedroom and one 
in the Blackstone. 

"The room, third floor back, extended in sweeping per- 
spective twelve feet in one direction and ten in the other. 



Introduction xv 

You had to take accurate aim to walk between the bed and 
the sofa. One window opened to the west, admitting a flood 
of sunlight in the afternoon when we were at the office. To 
one standing at the window, a varied view was disclosed — in 
the foreground a morgue for empty bottles, barrels, and old 
packing-cases; in the middle distance a row of chimneys, and 
in the distant prospect the stately uplift of the Polk Street 
Station tower outlined against the western sky. It must have 
been beautiful at sunset." 8 

Thus began their long brilliant journeys, enriched by more 
than half a century of maturing friendship. So intimate, so 
delightful, a friendship must needs find expression in their 
arts, as indeed it did during their five years' collaboration 
on The Chicago Record. 

Of that early copartnership Ade reminisced to the writer in 
an interview at Hazelden Farm, September, 1940: 

"McCutcheon had no desire to be a cartoonist. He wanted 
to be an illustrator; he was a realist and simply wanted to 
picture people as he saw them. In fact, he resented and 
resisted as long as possible the burlesque and exaggeration 
necessarily implied in cartooning. In the early days when 
McCutcheon and I were on The Record, 'Mac' did not always 
originate cartoons; the idea of cartooning simply didn't ap- 
peal to him. I would go into Charley Dennis' office (Dennis 
was then managing editor) to discuss with him suggestions for 
a cartoon, and after writing out the text for the cartoon — the 
title above as well as the legend below — we would take it to 
McCutcheon with the story, and he then drew the cartoon. 
At first, especially in the column 'Stories of the Streets and of 
the Town,' McCutcheon's work was entirely that of illustra- 
tion. Later he found that people liked some of his quaint 
cartoons, and he began developing them slowly, by adding 
such features as the little dog in one corner, the little boy in 
another. He developed these various 'props' through the 
series called the Bird Center Cartoons; the name 'Bird Cen- 
ter,' typically Hoosier, was my suggestion. McCutcheon 
later became a world-famous cartoonist, but the point is that 
in the beginning 'Mac' didn't want to be a cartoonist. He 
wanted to be an illustrator, a realist; and much of his best 



xvi Introduction 

work appeared in the 'Stories of the Streets and of the 
Town.'" * * * 

Greater praise than that of Mark Twain and George Ade 
could hardly be accorded an artist and illustrator. McCutch- 
eon's pen-and-ink sketches were the talk of the town; and 
McCutcheon, William Schmedtgen and Frank Holme were 
celebrated at exhibitions in the Art Institute. There devel- 
oped a Chicago "school" of artists and illustrators; McCutch- 
eon led the parade. Beloved of them all was "Billy" Schmedt- 
gen, the head of the art department of the old Record. At first 
Schmedtgen and McCutcheon started the tradition in the 
"Stories of the Streets and of the Town"; later other artists 
shared the honors, notably Charles D. Williams, Carl 
Werntz, Charles Sarka, Clyde Newman, Frink, and Dom. J. 
Lavin. 9 

McCutcheon illustrated the books Artie, Pink Marsh, and 
Doc Home; Clyde Newman, Fables in Slang and More Fables 
in Slang. In most instances the illustrations in the books are 
quite different from the sketches in the original newspaper 
columns. 

Mr. McCutcheon has contributed for this new Chicago 
edition some of his reflections upon his sketches, and the 
circumstances under which they were drawn for "Stories of 
the Streets and of the Town." 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE 

Tribune Tower 

November n, 1940 
Dear Mr. Meine: 

By way of refreshing my memory, I have just looked back 
through my old copies of Stories of the Streets and of the Town, of 
which I seem to have seven of the eight volumes. It was a pleasant 
reunion. From page after page, old friends looked out at me. It was 
as though I were opening gateway after gateway upon well- 
remembered gardens in which strolled old friends of the Nineties. 

My association with George Ade as his illustrator began with the 
first of his "Stories." This feature made its appearance on the 
editorial page of The Chicago Record, November 20, 1893, after we 
had completed our work out at the old Columbian Exposition. 



mmm 



Introduction xvii 

Tagging along after George, he chronicled and I illustrated 
almost every phase of Chicago's life and activities. As a historical 
record of those times, these old paper-backed reprints of the Ade 
stories will be of great value to the future historian. 

At that time, we didn't suspect we were passing through what, 
in future decades, was to be called "The Gay Nineties." 

As I remember it, there was joy and zest and adventure in our 
work. And there was an awful lot of work, but as seen in fond retro- 
spection, it didn't seem like work. Besides we didn't have anything 
else to do. I don't remember any square envelopes with R.S.V.P. 
on them. 

In looking through these old volumes, I quickly discover that I 
used my associates in the old Record office as models. For example, 
here in the very first volume is an article called "Since the French- 
man Came." It was all about the basement tables d'hote that 
bravely flourished their brief moment and went their way. Here 
are our two friends, Albert C. Wilkie and Fred Richardson, toasting 
one another just as though they were in gay Paree. I have drawn 
them as devil-may-care young boulevardiers — Chicago style. 

Other unmistakable faces leap out of the pages at me. Here is a 
gentleman whom I recognize as Frank Hoyne. And here is John M. 
Glenn, later prominent in the Illinois Manufacturers' Association; 
and also Jack Priest, now a distinguished railway official in the 
West. I remember going down to Henderson, Kentucky, to see his 
sister marry Will Iglehart. The bridal party drank bourbon out of 
tin cups and a lovely time was had by all. 

In this first volume is a story, "The Intellectual Awakening in 
Burton's Row," showing that George was beginning to branch 
away from the sordid realities of the Harrison Street Police station 
on Monday morning to something beautiful and uplifting. 

I don't seem to have a copy of Volume II. Perhaps it is in the 
rubble of my treasures and misplaced possessions, lurking some- 
where as a "potential headache" for my executors. 

But here in Volume III is a picture of the new and shiny Masonic 
Temple, and nearby, the Lake Street L, evidently then regarded 
as worthy of attention. George's questing pen, like a wand, 
touched with light The Newberry Library. 

Evidently I wandered off the scene during part of Volume III, 
for Mr. Schmedtgen, the kindly head of The Record art depart- 
ment, to whom so many of us cubs owed so very much, aided by 
Charley Williams — now Mr. Charles D. Williams, successful 
painter in New York — pinch-hitted for me. 

As soon as I got in circulation again, I drew both their pictures — 



xviii Introduction 

Smetty on page 87 and Charley on page 98 — but whether in grati- 
tude or reprisal I don't remember. [All page numbers refer to the 
original series.— Ed.] 

Opie Read appears in the story "A Plantation Dinner at Aunt 
Mary's," and a little farther along, I illustrated George's classic 
story about the young man and the gallumphing lunatic, "Mr. 
Benson's Experience with a Maniac." I have made a huge success 
telling this story to my children, animated by startling activities 
and facials. 

There were 400 drawings in Volume III ! 

In 1895, after saving up for a year, George and I "announced" 
to the editor that we were going abroad for four months. Mr. 
Dennis, whose wise counsel and coaching nursed many a budding 
genius to fame, wished us well as we departed. The paper paid our 
weekly salaries of #35.00 (each) during our absence, conditional 
upon our sending two illustrated feature stories a week. This 
collection of stories bloomed later into a paper-back called, What a 
Man Sees Who Goes Away from Home. 

My fedora hat was the first seen in London. I was stared at by 
crowds of Londoners. 

On page 27 of Volume IV of the Stories of the Streets and of the 
Town, I see Mr. Ade posing for me. Then Mr. Schmedtgen took 
over for thirty pages but I came back strong with some Aubrey 
Beardsley drawings for George's "Chicago High Art Up-to-Date," 
showing that modern art was just as modern in the Nineties as it 
is today. 

After this there seems to be some sort of a hiatus on my part. 
Mr. Schmedtgen presided at the drawing board from page 102 to 
134. Maybe I took another vacation, which by that time was 
becoming an incurable habit. Or maybe it was due to a new chore 
added to my daily duties. This was in late 1895. The editor thought 
it would be nice if I would do a front page daily five-column 
cartoon in my odd moments. 

Mr. Ade was to provide the ideas during his spare moments from 
the "Stories of the Streets," the Music and the Drama Depart- 
ments, and his other literary activities. 

Those were days when we weren't being spoiled by coddling. As 
a matter of fact, we loved it. Seeing the paper every morning with 
our stuff featured was a major adventure. Whether or not we knew 
it, opportunity was knocking at our door every morning. 

The first story in Volume V is a "Doc Home" story — later to 
reach a cordial host of readers in book form. And on page 10 is the 
first of the "Ollie and Freddie" stories, the saga of two of Chicago's 
gilded youth. 



Introduction 



xix 



George was now going stronger for fiction. Artie (1896), Pink 
Marsh (1897), and Doc Home (1899) came out in book form, 
published by Herbert S. Stone & Company; and many thousands 
of admiring readers were learning for the first time the name of the 
writer who had written them. I don't seem to locate these three 
classics but I remember illustrating them. 

The fifth volume presented that delightful story "The Barclay 
Lawn Party." In later years George was to receive $2500 for such 
a story. 

The man who succeeded Eugene Field as conductor of "Sharps 
and Flats" is portrayed at a piano which is being played by a lovely 
young lady [p. 59]. I remember the portrait perfectly and his name 
is Carl Smith, but as for the young lady, I regret that I have 
wholly forgotten her. 

On page 70 is my younger brother Ben and on page 108 is Sewell 
Collins — afterwards a distinguished artist in London. Hugh Fuller- 
ton, famous sports writer, is on page no, and on 116 Charley 
Ailing, loyal Sigma Chi and life of countless Sig gatherings, once 
more rallies the lagging spirits of his less dynamic colleagues. 

In the fifth volume, I seem to have done all of the 251 drawings 
all by myself despite the diverting effect of a daily five-column 
cartoon. 

When the sixth volume left the press on July 1, 1898, my days 
of co-operation in the series had reached an ending. In August of 
1897, I accepted an invitation from Assistant Secretary of the 
Treasury, Frank Vanderlip, to go around the world on a new U. S. 
revenue cutter, booked to leave the Cramp Shipbuilding Yards 
in Philadelphia the following December. A trip planned for six 
months stretched out to nearly three years, during which I at- 
tended three wars and collected a notable assortment of Asiatic 
microbes of a most disagreeable character. 

With my drawings in the fore part of Vol. VI, my connection 
with the "Stories of the Streets" ended. I was away on the bound- 
ing deep or dodging unfriendly bullets. 

Incidentally I picked up some material about the Sultan of Sulu 
which George Ade used in his first musical play — a huge success. 

Carl Werntz, Charles Sarka and Clyde Newman alternated in 
illustrating the Ade columns; and it is the drawings done by these 
three young comers that appear in volumes six, seven and eight. 
They have all marched onward to fame and distinction in wide 
fields. It was Newman's brilliant illustrations that adorned the 
first of the famous Ade Fables in Slang. 

Although I missed the final volumes of the Stories of the Streets 



xx Introduction 

and of the Town I note that I began to appear again in The 
Chicago Record War Stories (1898), Notes from Foreign Lands, 
(1899) and Stories of Filipino Warfare of which I was author and 
illustrator (1900); so I was not entirely left out. 

John T. McCutcheon 
* * * 

The "Stories of the Streets and of the Town" played a 
tremendously significant role in George Ade's literary devel- 
opment. It was the matrix of all his work. Everything that 
is crucial in the development of Ade as an interpreter of the 
great American scene is present: the rich, colorful everyday 
life, the vernacular, the character studies, the fables, the 
dramatic forms, the jingles — as well as the moods, the sly 
humor, the turn of the phrase, the quaint artistry of indirec- 
tion which was so peculiarly his. It is all there; you cannot 
know George Ade without knowing these seven years of 
daily literary production. 

Heretofore Ade has been pigeonholed as a fabulist, a 
humorist, a playwright, a character delineator, a short-story 
writer. Now for the first time it is possible to see Ade in his 
true literary lights. Sketch upon sketch from the "Stories of 
the Streets and of the Town" reveal the true George Ade, 
the many-sided genius sparkling through many facets. 

Chicago was his workshop and his laboratory, as well as 
the backdrop against which his characters lived and* talked 
realistically. He rambled about town, and made notes enough 
to fill an unabridged dictionary; but never once did he put 
himself into a story. When Ade was out of town or on 
vacation, able members of The Record staff were selected by 
Mr. Dennis to take over the column. Ade recalls that Mr. 
Dennis was a choosy picker when he selected "Billy" Iglehart, 
Trumbull White, Malcolm McDowell, Kennett Harris, Ray 
Stannard Baker, who later became famous as "David Gray- 
son" and as the biographer of Woodrow Wilson. 

As Dennis and McCutcheon have pointed out, Ade's was 
a roving assignment — he got his materials from all corners 
of the city. "It is doubtful," observed McCutcheon, "wheth- 
er any other newspaper man has had equal opportunities for 
studying every class of people in a big city. . . . He had the 



Introduction xxi 

faculty of making an interesting story of anything, whether 
it was a ride in a streetcar or a dissertation on the proba- 
bilities of rain. ... In each story there was a freshness and 
charm that compelled the expectant interest of thousands of 
readers." 10 

"So I started on a seven-year Marathon," relates Ade. u In 
a little while we discovered that readers became more inter- 
ested in our 'Stories of the Streets and of the Town' if they 
could find familiar characters recurring in the yarns. The 
first to bob up about once a week was a brash young office 
employee named 'Artie' Blanchard, a very usual specimen of 
the period. Then 'Pink' Marsh, a city Negro of the sophisti- 
cated kind, became a regular visitor. He was followed by 
'Doc' Home, an amiable old falsifier, not unlike 'Lightnin',' 
so delightfully played by Frank Bacon." 4 

Although "Artie," "Pink" Marsh, and "Doc" Home are 
probably the best known because of their subsequent book 
publication, there were other popular series, of both episodes 
and character sketches. The most notable of these were 
"Min Sargent" (the office girl, the counterpart of "Artie"), 
"The Frisbee Club," "The Hickey Boy," "Ollie and 
Freddie," and "Stories of the 'Benevolent Assimilation.'" 
The burlesque boys' stories {Handsome Cyril, Clarence 
Allen, and Rollo Johnson) later issued in colorful pamphlets 
by the Bandar Log Press, appeared first in the column, and 
are included with the original illustrations in this volume. 

The "Artie" stories appeared at intervals from Dec. 9, 
1895, to May 30, 1896; "Pink Marsh" from Dec. 15, 1896, to 
May 22, 1897; "Doc Home" from June 3, 1896, to Dec. 8, 
1897. But even before these characters propre had emerged 
in full stature, preliminary figures had preceded. Artie slowly 
came to full focus out of character delineations of young men 
typically occupied in downtown offices. Pink Marsh began 
to take shape through a synthesis of real persons involved in 
real episodes. Two sketches will show some of the aspects of 
this process: "How 'Pink' Was Reformed" (p. 98), and 
"How 'Pick' Caught the 'Battle-Row'" (p. 153). Thus two 
important facts become quite clear: first, these characters 
have undergone an important literary developmei t; and 



xxii Introduction 

second, they are realistic products fashioned out of everyday 
life. 

Consider Ade's form of the Fable in Slang. The first fable 
in slang appeared Sept. 17, 1897, without caption; and the 
same fable was published in Fables in Slang, 1900, under the 
title, "The Fable of Sister Mae Who Did as Well as Could Be 
Expected." This fable in its original form has been included 
in this selection (p. 220) for purposes of comparison with the 
final book version. More significant, though, than the first 
appearance of the actual fable/orra itself, was Ade's tendency 
to write in the fable style. Ade apparently had a flair for the 
fable. From the very outset he seemed naturally to drop into 
a concentrated literary form as telling in its dramatic econ- 
omy, as McCutcheon's art of the simple pencil line was 
strikingly effective in shaping the mass. Indeed, the very 
first sketch Ade wrote for his column, "A Young Man in 
Upper Life," the very first story written for the column, 
suggests the beginning of a fable technique which is the 
keynote to his literary style. 

Even Ade's plays, successes which he achieved later, find 
their roots in the "Stories of the Streets." Of his earliest 
sketches, "Mr. Pensely Has a Quiet Day Off" (p. 23) and 
"II Janitoro" (p. 177) are clearly and consciously cast in ac- 
tual dramatic form, as were many other subsequent sketches. 
For materials too, Ade was indebted to his newspaper column, 
as for example the Sultan of Sulu (1902), which made con- 
siderable use of a series of "Stories of 'Benevolent Assimila- 
tion.' " His short-story writing, of which "Erne Whittlesy" 17 
is an American masterpiece, evolved out of his daily stories 
of fiction. Some of Ade's best short stories and local-color 
sketches were later collected and published under the title 
In Babel, 1903. The story "Effie Whittlesy" appeared 
originally in The Chicago Record, March 13, 1896. 

Selections from each of these major lines of growth have 
been included in this volume to show how implicitly Ade's 
finished literary productions evolved out of his daily news- 
paper department. 

To his job of capturing and sketching the American scene, 



Introduction xxiii 

Ade brought a number of significant talents, which have best 
been pointed out by his collaborator, John T. McCutcheon : 

"In 1890 Ade went to Chicago armed with the following 
equipment: A wonderful memory, an X-ray insight into mo- 
tives and men, a highly developed power of keen observation 
and the benefit of four years of literary work in college and 
three years in professional fields. He had lived in the country 
and had retained, as on a photographic plate, the most com- 
prehensive impressions of country life. He knew the types, 
the vernacular, and the point of view of the country people 
from the inside. He had lived in a small town and had ac- 
quired a thorough knowledge of the types and the customs 
of this phase of life. He had learned college life during four 
years of observation and had learned the life of the medium- 
sized town. With a memory that retained his observations of 
these four distinct elements of life, and an intelligence great 
enough to use this knowledge, he was ready to learn what a 
great city could teach." 12 

What that city did teach, how the artist responded, and 
how the artist and city grew up together during ten years 
unfolds in the "Stories of the Streets and of the Town." 
Fortunately for the literary history of Chicago, George Ade 
has himself related the story of those early days. Said Mr. 
Ade to the writer in September, 1940, at Hazelden: 

"My ambition, like McCutcheon's, was to report people as 
they really were, as I saw them in their everyday life, and 
as I knew them to be. Consequently, I avoided exaggeration, 
burlesque, and crude caricature; and I did not try to Action- 
ize or to embroider fancy situations, as was common in the 
fiction of that day. In the 'Stories' there was not much em- 
phasis upon plot, but instead carefully sketched, detailed 
incidents in the delineation of real characters in real life, 
depicting various episodes in their lives as related through 
the medium of their own talk. 

"Talk, conversation, what people say when they come 
together on the street, their peculiar use of words, their 
'slang,' their rhythms of speech — that's what I mean by 
'vernacular? These are the things that have always interested 
me most; there is nothing more native than speech. 



xxiv Introduction 

"But by 'slang' I did not intend the 'flash' talk of thieves 
or people of the underworld. When I used the word 'slang' I 
meant the 'vernacular,' as I said before. Indeed, my slang 
was selected for Mother and the Girls. I tried to make playful 
use of the vernacular — which is really another way of saying 
'unconventional Americanisms' — rather than out-and-out 
slang. Of course, the extremes of slang change rapidly; yet, if 
you will look back through my 'Stories of the Streets and of 
the Town' the language will not seem frightfully antiquated. 
It isn't flagrantly dated, and it seems more natural than one 
might suppose, because it is written in the common, everyday 
vernacular. 

"Writing conversation and dialogue day after day, and 
year after year, in the 'Stories of the Streets and of the Town' 
proved to be of great help to me later in writing plays. The 
art of conversation and of making 'talk' sound natural came 
from listening intently to all kinds of talk and getting it 
translated quickly into the printed word, thus carrying 
over onto the printed page the naturalness that goes with the 
spoken word. Many of the 'Stories' were, in fact, cast in 
dramatic form, some more deliberately than others; still 
others were only sketchy tableaux. But throughout there 
was that economy of situation which is the essence of the 
dramatic; and, too, the subject matter was something that 
everybody could understand and enjoy, because there was 
that same faithful realism. It was natural. 

"The vernacular played an important part in the fable 
too; like the dramatic form it also carried over the peculiar- 
ities and rhythms of speech. When I wrote my first fables in 
slang I thought I had discovered something new. I thought I 
had created a new variety, using the archaic fable form as 
a base, but introducing vernacular speech and using capital 
letters. But to my great surprise I was accused of adapting 
a technique used by Ambrose Bierce. The only thing wrong 
with that claim was that I had never known anything of 
Bierce 's fables (or of anybody else's for that matter). I had 
never seen them, or heard of them. 

"My column the 'Stories of the Streets and of the Town' 
was contemporary with Eugene Field's column 'Sharps and 



••^^ 



Introduction xxv 

Flats' during 1893 and 1894; and at about the same time 
Pete Dunne was writing his 'Mr. Dooley' stories for the 
Journal. Field was positively brilliant, ranging from the 
highly sentimental to the rarest things that man ever wrote, 
but his technique was always faultless. Field wrote all his 
copy in that fine copperplate hand; he filled his entire column 
himself, often writing twenty-six hundred words a day. Pete 
Dunne was a highbrow — an intellectual. He got his education 
by reading; he didn't have a formal schooling, but he read 
voraciously. He wrote beautiful English. His 'Mr. Dooley' 
papers were really editorials in dialect; as a matter of fact, 
Dunne was an editorial writer. Dunne was a vindictive per- 
son, often caustic, but always witty. 

"I knew Field and Dunne rather intimately. We were all 
members of the old Chicago Press Club, but in the Nineties 
a number of us purely professional newspapermen pulled out 
and started an independent Newspaper Club of our own. The 
old Press Club had become a 'free-lunch outfit,' extending its 
membership to all kinds and classes, many of whom had 
nothing to do with journalism. Another meeting place was 
the Whitechapel Club, just back of the old Daily News 
building (Wells and Madison), with its entrance from the 
alley between Wells and LaSalle, east of the News building 
and to the north, where the newsboys got their papers. The 
Whitechapel Club was a rip-roaring place, not the quiet, 
dignified spot that some writers have pictured it. The main 
feature was a spacious bar thrown across the front room, and 
built in the shape of a coffin. The chorus of the drinking song 
usually heard around this famous bar ran, 

'Then stand to your glasses steady 
And drink to your comrades' eyes. 
Here's a toast to the dead already 
And Hurrah for the next who dies !' 

"At these various clubs I picked up many leads, for their 
stories were the stories of the streets and the town, stories of 
Chicago life." 

Ade caught the spirit of Chicago, the Chicago of the Gay 



xxvi Introduction 

Nineties, in his compact, fable style, his daily episodes of 
city life phrased in the vernacular. His iooi tales of the 
throbbing city had this basic element: they were motivated 
by the push in Chicago life. They appealed to the contem- 
porary Chicagoan who knew what they were all about. One 
of those contemporaries, Albert Nicholas Hosking, recog- 
nized Ade's significance and his role in the life and literature 
of Chicago, when in October, 1898, as editor and publisher 
of a monthly chapbook called Pickwick, The Town Crier, 13 
he devoted a special issue to Ade, crying the wares of his 
fellow- townsman : 

"A person starting out in Chicago to make a name in 
literature has an up-hill piece of work. Not because Chicago 
has such a galaxy of literary men that it is hard to obtain a 
place in this line — no, far from that; but, because Chicago 
and its population are seeking means and schemes for making 
the Almighty Dollar, and take little heed for art in any 
form — in this I am speaking generally. 

"And so, this being the case, when a person decides to 
follow a literary pursuit, he must needs be wary. The average 
Chicago reader wants something that appeals to him; some- 
thing that treats of the atmosphere he walks in ; something that 
he knows of. He wants, if he reads fiction, the language that 
he hears every day; he wants the local spirit and color por- 
trayed of the city he lives in; he wants conciseness of speech. 
Instead of saying: 'I think this project, if rightly handled, 
would prove successful,' the Chicagoan does away with all 
this and says 'It's a cinch.' He does notwant a thousand-page 
novel, but about one-tenth of this. He is willing to listen to 
a love story if the thing is told quickly, and has the right kind 
of a swing to it. 

"And so there has been one man in Chicago's limited field 
of literature who has realized this, and this man is George 
Ade. Coming from an Indiana town some eight years ago, 
Ade secured a position on The Chicago Record. In the field of 
the reporter, seeing all sides of city life in the smoky atmos- 
phere of the day and glare of electric lights at night, he soon 
gathered the material that was to make for him the strain 
of many tales — some more interesting than others, to be sure, 
but all containing the push of Chicago life. 



Introduction xxvii 

"Ade was an observer, not a dreamer. He realized that the 
city into which he had come had a certain personality to it. 
It had a certain 'something' that seemed to make up a part 
of every one of its separate inhabitants; and studying this 
'something/ he started in to write — and write in a vein that 
would catch the people. I do not mean to convey the idea 
that he wrote in this manner for mere mercenary profit, but 
as a literary study. He realized that no matter what phase of 
life a writer took up, so long as he drew the pictures perfectly 
and truthfully he was carrying out his art. 

"When talking with Mr. Ade somefew days ago, concerning 
his 'Stories of the Streets and of the Town' in The Chicago 
Record, and about their beginning, he remarked, 'I thought 
some freakish stuff in this line would take better than two 
columns of jokes. Things about town, you know, that a man 
can pick up and put into a story.' And sure enough his 
'freakish stuff' did take. These two columns, which appear 
on the editorial page, are read as eagerly as the editorials. 

"Ade'spen has crystallized noticeable characteristics of the 
middle walks of life. He has taken a type like 'Artie,' and 
there are many of 'Artie's' kind, and portrayed the slangy, 
good-hearted, whole-souled character of his class, and not 
overdrawn him, as many would have done. He has put 
language in 'Artie's' mouth that is spoken by the majority 
of the young men of this class, locally. All in all, 'Artie' 
appeals to the average Chicagoan, and therefore he is liked. 
The love affair which 'Artie' gets into is commonplace; but, 
Ade handles it with such a grace that it cannot but appeal to 
the reader. 

"And insomuch as Ade has drawn his many characters 
truthfully, insomuch he is an artist. His portrayal of 'Pink 
Marsh,' a type of the Chicago Negro, or 'Afro-American,' is 
as clever as Mr. Cable's Creole characters. From his 'politi- 
cian' to his 'newsboy,' there runs that freshness of local color 
which is ever amusing, ever readable. Ade is a story-teller to 
the many, not the few." 

* * * 

Critical evaluation of George Ade as a literary figure has 
barely begun. William Dean Howells, novelist and editor, 



xxviii Introduction 

"discovered" George Ade, and continued his ardent admirer. 
Both were realists of a kind, Ade inclining to the realism 
approved by Howells: that is, fidelity to life itself, expressed 
simply, honestly, naturally. It was as the realistic interpreter 
of the American scene, particularly of the Midwest and of 
Chicago, that Howells hailed the accomplishments of George 
Ade. 

When Henry B. Fuller and Robert Herrick were noveliz- 
ing, and George Ade was still conducting his column, 
Howells commented on the Chicago scene in 1898: 14 

"Mr. Fuller's Chicago novels, like that of Mr. Herrick, 
take his city on the society side, but with rather more of a 
slant towards what may be called the humaner side. On the 
humaner side, with no slant at all towards the society side, 
is a book by Mr. George Ade, called 'Artie: A Story of the 
Streets and Town.' 

"On the level which it consciously seeks I do not believe 
there is a better study of American town life in the West. It 
treats of American town life without the foreign admixture 
which is so characteristic in the East; its persons are types 
which one cannot fail to recognize who knows our better sort 
of hard-working people. The author of 'Artie' has not over- 
done them in any way; he has neither caricatured nor 
flattered them." 

In a further consideration of the "Chicago School of 
Fiction" 15 Howells emphasized Ade's adroit directness, his 
lack of literary pose, "his perfect control in dealing with the 
American as he knows himself. 

"In Mr. George Ade the American spirit arrives: arrives, 
puts down its grip, looks around, takes a chair and makes 
itself at home. It has no questions to ask and none to 
answer. There it is, with its hat pushed back, its hands in its 
pockets, and at its outstretched feet that whole, vast, droll 
American world, essentially alike in Maine and Oregon and 
all the hustling regions between: speaking one slang, living 
one life, meaning one thing. 

"The level struck is low: the level of the street, which 
seems not depressed in the basement barber-shop where Pink 
Marsh polishes shoes, or lifted in the office where Artie talks 



Introduction xxix 

to his friend and evolves himself and his simple love story. 
It is the same level in the entrance floor of the Alfalfa, where 
Doc Home sits with his fortuitous companions and harm- 
lessly romances. You are not asked to be interested in any 
one because he is any way out of the common, but because 
he is every way in the common. Mr. Ade would not think of 
explaining or apologizing or at all accounting for the com- 
pany he invites you to keep. He knows too well how good it 
is, and he cheerfully takes the chance of your not yourself 
being better. 

"But our life, our good, kind, droll, ridiculous American 
life, is really inexhaustible, and Mr. Ade, who knows its 
breadths and depths as few others have known them, drops 
his net into it anywhere, and pulls it up full of the queer fish 
which abound in it. 

"Each fable is really a little satire, expressing itself in the 
richest and freshest slang, but of a keenness which no most 
polished satire has surpassed, and of a candid complicity 
with the thing satirized — our common American civilization, 
namely — which satire has never confessed before. I am trying 
to get round to saying a thing I find difficult: that is, how the 
author posits his varying people in their varying situations 
without a word of excuse or palliation for either, in the full 
confidence that so far as you are truly American you will 
know them, and as far as you are truly honest you will own 
yourself of their breed and more or less of their experience." 

As an interpreter of the American scene, Ade has also been 
accorded high praise by Henry L. Mencken, 16 critic and 
author of The American Language-. 

". . . the whole body of his [Ade's] work ... is as thorough- 
ly American, in cut and color, in tang and savor, in structure 
and point of view, as the work of Howells, E. W. Howe or 
Mark Twain. . . . there is a vivid and accurate evocation of 
the American scene. Here . . . there are brilliant flashlight 
pictures of the American people, and American ways of 
thinking, and the whole American Kultur. Here the veritable 
Americano stands forth, lacking not a waggery, a supersti- 
tion, a snuffle or a wen. 

"Ade himself, for all his story-teller's pretense of remote- 



xxx Introduction 

ness, is as absolutely American as any of his prairie-town 
traders and pushers, Shylocks and Dogberries, beaux and 
belles. No other writer of our generation, save perhaps 
Howe, is more unescapably national in his every gesture and 
trick of mind. He is as American as buckwheat cakes." 

* * * 

"They Simply Wouldn't Let Me Be a Highbrow" wrote 
George Ade. But Ade was much more of a high-brow than he 
realized, at the same time achieving an art of hofbrau literary 
phrasing that appealed to millions of Americans — one of the 
qualities of true genius shared alike by Abe Lincoln and 
George Ade. 

His fables in slang are sugar-coated social history cap- 
sules. His character sketches, his fables, his stories, and his 
plays are all cut from the same cloth — realistic reporting of 
the American scene, illumined by his sly Hoosier humor. 

The "Stories of the Streets and of the Town" are a part of 
that tradition. They are cross sections of Chicago life in the 
Gay Nineties drawn by a master artist, cameos of Chicago 
culture when the "Lake Shore Drive put on its evening 
clothes in the afternoon." 

Franklin J. Meine 

Chicago, Illinois 
June 1, 1963 



In 



Chicago Stories 



pr— 







A Young Man in Upper Life 

THIS is a story of a young man in upper life. He was 
honorably connected with a real-estate firm. By 
years of service he had risen from "the boy' f to '-our 
Mr. Ponsby." His salary had gone up in the same ratio. He 
had a desk of his own. His hopes and prospects had risen as 
various marks of favor were shown him by the two specula- 
tive subdividers. 

The firm had gone up also — gone up literally. At first it 
held forth on the third floor of a dark and smoky old building, 
a relic of the '70s with a mansard roof, but no elevator. Then 
it vaulted upward to the sixteenth floor of a tower built from 
steel and glass, so that "our Mr. Ponsby," when he ascended 
to his daily work, was lifted in the quick, decisive way of a 
man holding to a rocket. 

He liked the hush and quiet and the immense suggestion of 
space in this upper air. From his window he commanded a 
limitless view of atmosphere and he found this view very rest- 
ful when he was bending his mind to something which re- 
quired deep and prolonged thought. The members of the firm 
could sell lots if they had their man cornered, but they could 



Chicago Stories 



not write the alluring de- 
scriptions which rolled so 
readily from their tongues. 
They had the mesmeric pow- 
er which shows itself in per- 
sonal contact, but they 
lacked the peculiar genius 
of getting up a display ad- 
vertisement. This work fell 
to "our Mr. Ponsby." It was 
he who prepared the thirty- 
two-page prospectus setting 
forth the beauties and ad- 
vantages of Hazel Glen, the 
future manufacturing and 
residence suburb of Chica- 
go. When it is learned that 
Hazel Glen is still a prime- 
val forest with a barbed-wire 
fence along the principal 
boulevard, it will be appre- 
ciated that Mr. Ponsby 
needed very favorable con- 
ditions under which to do 
his word painting. Perhaps 
the most formidable task to which he ever set himself was to 
think out and tabulate twenty-five reasons why Hazel Glen 
would in five years' time witness a general advance in values 
of from 1,000 to 2,000 per cent. When engaged in work of this 
kind he would gaze steadfastly out of the window opposite his 
desk and bend his whole intellect to the problem of getting gas, 
waterworks, public schools and quick suburban service for the 
future manufacturing and residence center of Cook County. 
When he looked out of the window he saw nothing to dis- 
tract his attention. He could think all the more intently. He 
saw simply a picture of smoke-laden air set in a hardwood 
frame. Back through this sooty air were the vague outlines of 
buildings almost as tall as that under whose roof he sat, but 
they were so far away that only by straining the eyes could 
they be seen at all. 




MR. PONSBY 
BECAME UNEASY 






?A Young "JfrCan in Upper Life 



5 



One day standing at the window and glancing down the 
sheer precipice Mr. Ponsby saw that workingmen were tear- 
ing holes in the roof of the squatty building underneath. Four 
days later, as he was going to lunch, he was surprised to see 
that the squatty building had disappeared and that in its 
place was a hole in the ground with men and horses scram- 
bling around the bottom of it. After that, as he went in and 
out of his own tall structure, he became accustomed to the 
sight of derricks and the sound of hammering. 

One morning, with an unusual weight of responsibility on 
his shoulders, he sat at his desk and wondered what could be 
the matter. He had a slight headache, which was partly re- 
morse and partly actual pain, but he knew this did not ac- 
count for his lack of concentration. Mr. Ponsby was one of 
those self-willed young men who can watch a sunrise through 
an alcoholic mist and then, 
after three hours in a Turkish 
bath, can appear at the office 
and add up long columns of fig- 
ures. As a rule he could fall in- 
to his chair and get the swing 
of his day's work within five 
minutes. On this particular 
morning he seemed turned 
around, or rather the premises 
were turned around. He won- 
dered if any one had been mov- 
ing the furniture. As he won- 
dered he gazed out of the win- 
dow, and it gradually dawned 
upon him that something new 
had come into the picture. 

There, in the smoke-tinted 
atmosphere, alone and appar- 
ently unsupported, stood a steel 
column. At first sight it gave 
him a shock. He could not real- 
ize that the skeleton structure 
had been pieced together, high- 



THEY WERE 
EATING DINNER 





6 Chicago Stories 

er and higher into the air, until the topmost bough in that 
tangle of steel had reached his sky window and was standing 
there in offensive boldness to spoil his view and break the 
peaceful course of his business meditations. Often that day 
he found himself turning his eyes to the window for a few 
minutes of profound and abstracted thought, only to be con- 
fronted by that bar of steel and to feel himself annoyed by 
the presence of the stiff, immovable specter. 

The next day was worse than ever. He had forgotten the 
specter and came cheerfully to his work. He sat at his desk, 
opened a few letters, whistled cheerfully, and then, from force 
of habit, looked out of the window, expecting, also by force 
of habit, to see what he had usually seen — nothing, and that 
faintly diluted by smoke. 

What he saw was the solitary column showing itself above 
the ledge, and perched on the top of this column a man, the 
two making a very black silhouette against the midair. 

"Great Scott!" said young Mr. Ponsby. "That man will 
certainly fall if he isn't careful." 

The man didn't seem to think so. He was a muscular per- 
son, with very square shoulders. He wore a Scotch cap and a 
heavy suit with a tight pea-jacket. He held a rope which trailed 
off in the depths below him. As he sat on the cap of the lone 
column he chewed tobacco with much vigor and occasionally 
spat out into indefinite space. Mr. Ponsby, forgetting all about 
Hazel Glen and the advantages of shade trees in a suburb, 
held to his armchair in blank horror and amazement and 
watched the man with the pea-jacket untwine his legs from 
around the column and slowly come to a standing position, 
like a statue on a slim pedestal. Putting his hands up to his 
mouth, he shouted something, and there came faint answers 
from somewhere below. 

Mr. Ponsby could not work. He tried for half an hour, but 
each time he put his eyes to his desk he began to wonder what 
the man on the pedestal was doing or whether he had fallen 
off. After two hours passed under these distracting circum- 
stances he began to hope the man would fall off, and he even 
decided to quit trying to work until he saw it happen. Ac- 
cordingly he tilted himself back and waited. 



zA Toung ^hCan in Upper Life 




The man perched at the top 
of the pedestal grinned at him 
through the window and 
swung his arms to keep warm. 
At such times he maintained 
his equilibrium by hooking his 
toes behind the column and 
hugging it with his knees, a 
proceeding which made young 
Mr. Ponsby ache with a sort 
of chilling expectation. 

But the man did not fall off. 
He crawled down the column 
and disappeared from view 
about 1 1 o'clock, only to reap- 
pear at 11:30. And about this 
time the restless arm of a 
steam crane threw its first di- 
agonal shadow across Mr. 
Ponsby's window and helped 
to make his nervous condition 
more pitiable. What this steam 
crane was resting upon and 
how it suddenly came into this 
upper region young Mr. Pons- 
by knew not. He only knew that with it came other men 
in pea-jackets, and they all shinned up the solitary col- 
umn and helped fasten on transverse straps of steel, which 
reached out in either direction and laid hold on other columns. 

Then before his once peaceful window men sat on narrow 
girders, with their legs dangling over, and ate frugal lunches 
from tin buckets. After that they would lower the buckets by 
means of the rope belonging to the steam hoist, and when the 
buckets came back they would foam at the brim and would 
be not buckets but "growlers." 

Young Mr. Ponsby found himself under a strain as the 
workingmen climbed or trotted back and forth in front of his 
window. He did not want to watch them, but he found that 
he had to, for he felt that some day one of them would make 




AT LAST 
THEY WENT HIGHER 




8 Chicago Stories 

a misstep and go plunging down some sixteen stories to the 
pavement. So he sat at his desk day after day and suffered 
the nervous strain. 

The skeleton structure had gone farther skyward, leaving 
a sharp-jointed network in front of his window, but the men 
continued to go up and down this like so many squirrels. 

It was a glad morning when he saw above the rim of his 
window-sill the white cap of the mason who was putting a shell 
of terra-cotta around the steel limbs and joints. For three days 
he watched the masons with a show of interest which he could 
not explain. Then the terra-cotta wall went up to greater 
heights, and Mr. Ponsby, finding some relief in a bare wall, 
went back to his neglected work. 

Since the Frenchman Came 

ALL the homeless people who love comfort and cheer; 
/-\ all the women who wish to peer into Bohemia with- 
X JL out being really a part of it; all the lonesome souls 
who remember Paris but cannot get back to it; all the free- 
born men who hold it as their privilege to smoke at the table; 
all the inquiring young men who wish to cultivate a taste for 
Brie cheese, and all the transient professionals who have wea- 
ried of the hotel sirloin, may be found sooner or later at one 
of the table d'hote restaurants. These places have sprung up 
in Chicago during the last few years. They are owned by 
Frenchmen. Each bill of fare is a compromise between French 
and English, and the waiter may properly be called a "garcon." 

* * * 
All day the place is dull and quiet. At noontime there is an 
hour's awakening and a straggling dozen or two for luncheon, 
but not until 6 o'clock, when all the lights are blazing, do the 
tables fill up and the waiters rise to the frenzy of the occasion. 
The price is anywhere from 50 to 75 cents, never more than 
the latter, and this includes a bottle of wine. Sometimes it is a 
pint and sometimes a half pint. The waiter calls it "claret," 
and perhaps it is. The liquid is dark red and vinegary, and ev- 
eryone drinks it copiously for the edge it gives to the appetite. 



Since the Frenchman Came g 

The Chicago restaurant man, with his strong liking for large 
slices of meat and dangerous sections of pie, has never made a 
success of a table d'hote. It requires the close attention of a 
Frenchman — the genius born of enforced economy and the 
nice calculation which overlooks no detail — to give a dinner 
and a bottle of wine for 75 cents and make money. The din- 
ner — one of two or three kinds of soup, fish, an entree to be 
selected from a list of three or four, one or two vegetables, a 
roast, salad, dessert and coffee. Six courses, wine, "a bit of 
Roquefort, please," and a small coffee — why, the man with 
75 cents becomes an epicure. If the entire feast were tipped 
before him in one job lot, as it is in a railway dining station, 
it would not be formidable. But when it comes to six instal- 
ments scattered through an hour, the liberality of the French- 
man becomes astounding. 

There are certain old-timers whom you will see any eve- 
ning. They have no other retreat and want none. They have 
a certain foreign way of bowing to the cashier. Their over- 
coats have capes. Some have pointed beards and others are 
bald, but fiercely mustached. They seek corner tables to them- 
selves and there talk in French. The discussions are endless 
and never lacking in vigor. One is always in doubt whether 
they are artists, musicians or language teachers, but one can- 
not doubt their Parisian origin. They pour their claret into 
large glasses and order the water-bottle taken away. The fish 
grows cold while they gesticulate at one another. To them 
dinner means a blissful two hours, the last half-hour being 
spent in a blue fog of tobacco-smoke. 



At another table sit a young man and a young woman, well- 
dressed, well-behaved and undeniably modest. They seem too 
unconcerned and placid for a newly-married couple, and they 
are too young to have been married very many years. Their 
conduct is so correct that one is not justified in being inquisi- 
tive, and why should one be inquisitive? This is Chicago, and 
so let every table take care of itself. And yet one cannot but 
wonder who all of them are and where they came from. 

Regarding the girls from the opera company there is not 



IO 



Chicago Stories 



much room for question. They are sweetly oblivious of all 
other persons in the room and talk "shop" with abandon. 
"Say, tell that waiter to hurry up. We go on in an hour and 

twenty minutes." 

"What's the rush? You'd 
better take it easy while 
you can. Next week we won't 
be doin' a thing but makin' 
some of those lovely one- 
night stands." 

"That's all right. I don't 
care to be fined twice in one 
month." 

"You ought to stand in." 

"I suppose I had, but I'm 
not saying a word. I got a 
letter today, and if things 
turn out all right you'll lose 

REGULAR PATRONS me." 

"What is it?" 
"Oh, you'll find out in time. It's a speaking part, I'll tell 
you that much, and a good old line in the cast." 




Sometimes the devotees of winter racing come with the 
evening rush, and they leave no doubt as to their identity. As 
soon as they have tucked their napkins: 

"That settles it, Steve; it's the last time I'll ever play 
that dog. I've followed him a dozen times and it was always 
a cinch, and I never win but once. I pass him up, I tell you 
that." 

"You're right. He's an in-and-outer. I wouldn't lay a cent 
on him and never would since he threw me down at Latonia. 
I had that race dead. Where was you?" 

"I put my stuff on early and then went away with Mose to 
get a drink. How's that? Yes, gi' me some of that first kind of 
soup. Did you say you had it?" 

"Nailed down. I got it right, too, but like a great, big geeser 
I only puts on ten. Well, I win twenty-five. That ain't bad, eh ?" 



Since the Frenchman Came 



1 1 



"I guess it's some better than burnin' up fifty cold bucks." 

"Well, a few." 

And so on. 

* * * 

The Chicago young man who wants to try his French on 
some one gives the waiters much trouble. He insists on calling 
his orders in French and engaging the waiter in conversation. 
The waiter, who expects a tip of at least 15 cents, is too con- 
siderate to misunderstand, and so he says: "You have the 
true Parisian accent." This generally insures an increase of 
the tip to 25 cents. 

The blase youth is 
here — the blase youth 
who would be a man of 
the world and begins 
by learning to drink a 
pousse cafe and smoke 
a black cigar, so that 
when he goes down the 
stairway and into the 
street the electric 
lamps have rainbows 
around them and the 
cable cars turn the 
wrong corners. 

The French are not 
the only foreigners. 
On some evenings there 
are three or four lan- 
guages mixed up in the 
polite babel. The peo- 
ple at the table d'hote 
talk under the cheering influence of claret, tobacco and strong 
coffee; the conversation grows bolder toward 8 o'clock, and a 
group at a table has been known to sing a song without giv- 
ing particular offense to any one else. 

If Chicago was backward in patronizing French table d'hote 
restaurants it seems to be making amends now. Long after 




OF THE OPERA COMPANY 



fW 



12 



Chicago Stories 



New York and San Francisco had many such places, all pros- 
perous, there was not one restaurant in Chicago where a man 
could get a course dinner properly cooked and well served for 
a reasonable price. One attempt after another was made by 
enterprising Frenchmen and Italians who thought they had 
found a rich field. They opened their restaurants, prepared 
their tempting bills and put the waiters at the tables. A few 
hopeful patrons came around each evening, but the general 
public continued to pass by and search out the quick-service 

oyster house and the rap- 
id-firing lunch counter. 
There must have been a 
dozen abject failures in 
the ten years preceding 
the World's Fair. It was 
during the Fair that the 
tide turned. Who will ever 
know the full effect these 
visiting foreigners had on 
Chicago ? 

At any rate, the French 
table d'hote restaurant is 
now a prosperous institu- 
tion. The number of 
down-town people who 
can and will give an hour 
to their dinner is increasing. There seem to be more persons 
who prefer a dozen dainty bits to one huge piece of steak, 
accompanied by a windrow of potatoes. The powerful cheese 
of foreign manufacture has supplanted, to some extent, plain 
American pie as an after-dinner luxury. Coffee cups have 
become smaller, and the man who lights a cigar is not thrown 

out by a policeman. 

* * * 

The Frenchmen with the pointed beards and cape coats 
feel encouraged, and say Chicago is becoming civilized. 




THEIR FIRST POUSSE CAFE 



The Mystery of the 
Back-Roomer 

THERE went the front doorbell again! Mrs. Mor- 
gane's hopes rose accordingly. 
The bell gave forth a hollow gong-like sound. It 
was required to make a good deal of noise, as Mrs. Morgane's 
furnished apartments were on the second and third floors of 
the red-brick building, a tailoring and cleansing establishment 
having the first floor. 

When the door-bell rang Mrs. Morgane at once said : "Some 
one for the top back room." She had been trying for over a 
month to rent it. All sorts and conditions of men had climbed 
the stairs and followed her into the room. She always pulled 
the curtain away up and began by telling that the last young 
man who occupied it — a very nice young man, by the way — 
had gone out on the road as a salesman and of course he 
couldn't keep a room in the city. 

"It is small but comfortable," she would say. "We get steam 
heat from the building next to us. The bed has a lovely set of 
springs. The bath-room is on the floor below, but of course 
you have your pitcher here. I did get $3 for this room, but 
you may have it for $2.50. 

They made all sorts of excuses to get out of the house. One 
would say the room was too small. Another insisted on run- 
ning water. In some instances the room was too far up or too 
far back. An occasional caller would promise to "look around," 
and perhaps come back. Only a week before an elderly man 
with a shawl-strap full of books, after pointing out the dan- 
ger of living on a third floor without a fire escape had said in a 
roundabout way that he "guessed" he would move in. But he 
didn't come. 

Now Mrs. Morgane, having primped a little before her glass, 
hurried down-stairs to welcome another. Much depended on 
renting the top back room. With the other rooms taken her 
profits were but slight. All revenues from the back room would 
be so much clear gain. 

13 



14 Chicago Stories 

She found at the door a rather pale man, apparently be- 
tween 30 and 35 years of age. He was smooth-shaven and had 
an aquiline nose and melancholy eyes. The closely buttoned 
Prince Albert told in his favor, although it did seem to go 
badly with the striped shirt. Mrs. Morgane had ceased to be a 
stickler as to attire. The only man who had ever defrauded 
her of a full month's rent dressed beautifully. 

The stranger was quiet and attentive as she told him the 
old story of the peculiar advantages of the top back room. 
She was more than surprised when he thrust a cameoed finger 
into his vest pocket and produced a #5 bill in payment for two 
weeks' rent. 

No questions were asked. 

* * * 

Mrs. Morgane did not require the usual exchange of refer- 
ences. Like a court of exact justice, she regarded every person 
as respectable and trustworthy until he or she was shown to 
be something else and then she acted with great firmness. Her 
furnished apartments were for people more or less restricted 
as to finances and she didn't object if, instead of getting their 
refreshments outside, they sent out a pitcher and a dime. 
When she found a steady and reliable roomer she did all she 
could to keep him and for a year there had not been a change, 
except in the top back room. The furniture man had moved 
out a year before when an increase of salary changed his no- 
tions of life, and the first to succeed him was a very blonde 
young woman who asked a great many questions about the 
other people in the house and remarked that one couldn't be 
too particular. Her husband was out of town most of the time 
and during his absence she employed herself in reading wood- 
cut weeklies and going to the theaters. The tickets came to 
her with some regularity and were always in plain envelopes. 
As for the husband, he proved to be a man of the most vari- 
able habits, calling sometimes twice a day and sometimes once 
in two weeks. Finally Mrs. Morgane grew weary at these ec- 
centricities and so the blonde young woman was requested to 
go elsewhere. 

The next one was a whistling young man, whose personal 
effects seemed to consist largely of photographs and Indian 



The ^Mystery of the 'Back-Roomer 



l 5 




\/uto#f" 



IT WAS NO WONDER THAT THEY BEGAN TO PEER AROUND 
CORNERS AT HIM" 



clubs. This young man, who professed an ardent admiration 
of pugilism and the dramatic art, was employed in the pack- 
ing department of a wholesale hardware house. He had a dis- 
turbing habit of dropping his Indian clubs during practice, and 
one day while attempting an entirely new juggle he smashed 
two panes of glass from the window. There was a difference of 
opinion as to whether or not he should pay for the glass and 
it was compromised by his moving away. 

What need to tell of the three who came after him? 

The last was a heavily mustached person who sang when 
he felt like it, and felt like it when he came home along after 
midnight. Mrs. Morgane couldn't stand that. 



r- 



16 Chicago Stories 

She now felt overjoyed to have in the room a man who 
moved in so quietly that morning that he did not disturb her 
at her work in the front room. He remained in the room all 
day and that evening went out carrying what appeared to be 
a small tin cash-box. She learned that he had been in bed all 
day and she. observed, with some apprehension, that he and 
his tin box returned at 7 o'clock the next morning. The sec- 
ond day he remained in his room and on the second evening 
he departed in the same mysterious manner. 

Mrs. Morgane was at the head of a strangely assorted com- 
munity. Two steady men, given to early hours, had the large 
front rooms on the second floor. Behind them was the old 
book-keeper, who had been in that room ever since the furni- 
ture was carried in. At the rear was the woman who had sepa- 
rated from her husband. The exact trouble was not known to 
the other people in the house, but they agreed that the hus- 
band must be a brute. Mrs. Morgane and the girl who helped 
her had the top front rooms. The young woman stenographer, 
who was distantly related to Mrs. Morgane, had the next room 
back and then came the department-store young man, who 
performed wonders in the way he managed to get along on a 
small salary. He had two good suits and was saving up to buy 
a wheel. Farther to the rear of his little pocket apartment was 
a young man who worked in a book-bindery and employed 
his evenings in writing long letters. Then came the unlucky 
room, which had been taken by the stranger with the tin box. 
Mrs. Morgane had not so much as asked his name, and he 
had such a retiring way of turning the key in the lock as he 
went in that no one ventured to break in upon him or to try 
to scrape an acquaintance. 

* * * 

For a week he kept up his routine. In the afternoon or early 
evening, as the others would be going to their rooms or pre- 
paring for a cheerful reunion in Mrs. Morgane's parlor, they 
would see him stealthily going down-stairs. In the morning 
they would sometimes meet him coming back. It was no won- 
der that they began to peer around corners at him and that 
Mrs. Morgane tried to learn something from a study of his 
personal property. 



The ^Mystery of the Rack-Roomer 1 7 

There was but little to study. The wardrobe was limited, 
the trunk was always locked and the linen was marked "X9." 
No letters were left lying about and no mail came. 

One morning when she met him on the stairway she said: 
"You're getting in late." 

He smiled rather sadly and said: "A man in my profession 
can't sleep when other people do." 

And before she could press further inquiries he paid another 
$5, which action she construed to mean that he did not choose 
to talk about himself. 

* * * 

That evening she found a pretext, however, for when he 
was about to depart she pounced out upon him and said: "I 
started to make out your receipt, but do you know I haven't 
learned your name yet?" 

Three persons were waiting behind doors and at key-holes 
to catch his answer, which was most disappointing. He gave a 
name which may be found duplicated twenty times in the 
city directory and then he slipped away. 

* * * 

That evening there was an animated discussion of the stran- 
ger by Mrs. Morgane, the stenographer, the department-store 
young man and the woman who had experienced trouble with 
her husband. 

"Now, what does he do?" 

"May be he's a doctor." 

"No; doctors have people send for them." 

"But he said he was a professional man." 

"He can't be a lawyer. They don't go around at night with 
tin boxes." 

"Oh, I'll tell you, he might be a burglar and have his tools 
in that box." 

"Get out! You can see that he is a gentleman. He doesn't 
look as though he drank." 

"How about a gambler?" 

"No; gamblers don't carry boxes, either." 

All agreed that he should be questioned. The good name of 
the house demanded it. 



1 8 Chicago Stories 

The next Sunday afternoon the stenographer and the young 
man were present in the parlor as witnesses, when Mrs. Mor- 
gane by the most urgent methods lured him thither, and, af- 
ter the commonplace remarks, asked: "By the way, what is 
your profession?" 

He looked at her reproachfully as he answered: "I am a 
chiropodist in a Turkish bath." 

"A what?" 

"He removes corns," explained the department-store young 
man. 

"And bunions," added the professional man. 

* * * 

They were interested and he told them of the work he did 
for the night customers. He was a professional man, after all. 
He became a favored member of the Morgane community 
and was afterward best man at the wedding of the stenogra- 
pher and the department-store young man. It was in the morn- 
ing, and he came around a trifle sleepy, for it had been a busy 
night. 



In Chicago But Not of It 

EVEN the entrance to the Art Institute is not at all 
like Chicago. It has too many broad landings and 
f too little regard for space. The great terraced front 
is spread over enough ground to make the site of a sky-scraper. 
Then when the door is opened, instead of stepping into a cor- 
ridor behind whose grated walls the elevator cages rise and 
fall, the visitor finds himself tip-toeing over the polished tiles, 
afraid to make any noise. 

Any place as quiet as the Art Institute is a relief, The walls 
are dark-hued and restful, and there can be no more deadly si- 
lence than that made by a roomful of heroic casts and bronzes. 
The people who move along, usually two and two, fingering 
their catalogues and reading the unpoetic sticker labels, con- 
verse in whispers or a mumble. An occasional bell or whistle 
on the Illinois Central tracks interrupts for a moment, but 



In Chicago I$ut D^ot of It 



19 



the rattle of wheels on Michigan Avenue seems a long dis- 
tance away. 

The Art Institute is beginning to realize all hopes. During 
the summer of 1893 there was no room in it for the muses. It 
was in the possession of the busy delegate. Numberless type- 
writers were rattling away in the side rooms, the halls echoed 
with addresses of welcome which could not be easily located. 
There were many rooms and some kind of a "congress" in 
each that was large enough for a stage and a row of chairs. 
Morning, noon and night came the crushing at the doorways. 
Men and women with badges, catalogues and manuscripts el- 
bowed one another. Policemen stood guard at every corner 
and told people to "take it easy." The place became littered 
with tracts and appeals and stray lace mitts and plain parasols. 

Those were busy days — the days of the congresses when 
everything had to be discussed by some one — everything from 
esoteric Buddhism down to chop-feed. The delegates were for 
putting in as many hours as possible, so they ate at a cafe in 
a basement. Imagine the smell of cooking in a temple of art! 
The place certainly did not satisfy any artistic cravings. At 
the east were two huge tem- 
porary sheds made of wood 
and leaning in pitiful con- 
trast against the classic pile. 
But even the stonework had 
a disturbing appearance. 
Some of it was white from 
the chisel and some black- 
ened by the vandal influ- 
ence of the smoke nuisance. 
Until November the so- 
called Art Institute was more 
like a swarming museum, 
with all sorts of "isms" and 



on 



the 



theories exhibited 
pedestals. 

* * * 

And now the change! 

The sheds have disap 




LOOKING AT THE OLD MASTERS 



20 



Chicago Stories 



peared. The last blackboard chart and orator's glass pitcher 
were carted away many weeks ago. The kindly soot has made 
the whole exterior one unvaried shade of dinginess, suggesting 
an age equal to that of the pyramids. The committee-rooms 
and lecture halls have been given over to sculpture and archi- 
tecture. Every bust, print or painting has found its niche. 
The whole interior glistens with cleanliness. In place of the 
congress orator you find the girl with the apron. 

She is certainly more interesting, as a study, than a learned 
man with a passion for alpaca coats and white neckties. She is 
a student of art: As she would doubtless put it, she "is going 
in for art, and it's perfectly lovely." She has an easel and a 
boxful of rattling implements and a large square of paper 
marked with some strange beginnings, and a pair of coldly 
poised eye-glasses and the big gingham apron. Thus equipped 
she rambles, searching for that which she may make her own. 
When you see her, you will say she is a refreshing sight. She 
spreads her easel in front of some plaster god, studies it in 
rapt admiration for a few moments and then begins making 
marks. She holds the pencil out at arm's length and, sliding 

her finger back and forth, 
gauges the distances and 
proportions. Such indus- 
try and such painstaking 
are surprising in one who 
would be expected to 
waste her time on choco- 
lates and matinees. Al- 
most any day there are a 
score of the aproned 
young women at the Art 
Institute. When they be- 
come weary of sketching 
they huddle together on 
the big soft divans and 
take turn about in rav- 
ing over the Bonheurs, 
Geromes and Chases on 
a group of critics thelower row of paintings. 




In Chicago "But Not of It 



21 




The institute policeman 
is different from those you 
meet in the outer world. 
His gloves are spotless 
white, his clothes are with- 
out a speck and he stands 
with his shoulders back. He 
doesn't know much about 
Phidias, but in a general 
way he is loyal to the "show." 
If a man asks the way to the 
oil paintings, this clever po- 
liceman not only points him 
the way up the shiny stair- 
way and then to the north, 
but he goes ahead and gives 
the visitor some notion of 
the delights in store for him. 

"It's up at the head of 
the stairs, sir, and you'll be 
mighty well pleased," he 
says. "They have some of 

the greatest pictures up there you ever put your eyes on. I 
heard a man say here the other day it was one of the best 
collections in the world. I'd like to have what just one of 
them cost. I wouldn't kick." 

* sk * 

Chicago isn't old enough to have very many artists who 
dare to affect long hair and it has no quarter where the art 
students flock, but the institute seems destined to become the 
home of the enthusiasts. They avoid the Sunday crowds and 
come around on quiet afternoons to look and gloat. The aver- 
age visitor passes along a row of pictures, giving about thirty 
seconds to each. If any one picture is unusually bold as to 
size, color or execution he pauses to nod his head and say: 
"Pretty good." 

This is the visitor who does the place simply as one of the 
sights of the town. He may be following a guide-book pro- 
gramme such as: "In the morning go to the Art Institute on 



HE DIDN T 
LIKE THAT REMBRANDT 



2 2 Chicago Stories 

the lake front; in the afternoon visit the stockyards; at night 
attend a meeting at the Pacific Garden mission." The enthu- 
siast does not walk up and down the room. He plants himself 
before the "work" to be admired and begins a critical analysis 
of color, shade, technique, feeling and all the other things 
which critics find in a painting. He looks at it as though he 
were trying to count the buttons on the coat of the man in the 
far background. 

Take one of Rembrandt's, for instance. The ordinary visi- 
tor would call it a man wearing his hat. The enthusiast would 
not call it anything. He would only lift his eyes in unspeak- 
able thankfulness that he had lived to stand before it. 

* * * 

The people who don't know sometimes criticize Rembrandt 
very harshly. The other day a young man and a quiet old gen- 
tleman, perhaps his father, stood before "The Accountant" 
and made fun of it. 

"I believe I could do that well myself," said the old one. 

"I should say so. One-half of his face seems to be too dark." 

"It's too dark all the way through. Why didn't he make a 
picture that looked like something?" 

Only the enthusiast may appreciate the faded work of some 
"old master." 



T 



Mr. Pensley 
Has a Quiet Day "Off" 

HE persons introduced in these local incidents, which 
might be grouped under the title of "A Day of Com 
plete Rest," are: 

Mr. Arthur Pensley, a young married man. 

Mr. Joseph Marshton, who travels in Arthur's class. 

Mrs. Arthur Pensley, a devoted wife. 

Various attaches of the club. 

ACT I. 

(Scene — The bowling alley at the Athletic Club. Time 10 a.m. 
Mr. Pensley and Mr. Marshton, coats of and sleeves rolled up, 
have ceased playing for a moment in order to pick something off a 
tray carried in by a waiter. The blackboard is marked with the 
scores of two games, and the pins are set for a third. Mr. Pensley 
touches his right hand to the sponge.) 

Mr. Pensley — "Now, Joe, my boy, I'm going to give you 
some points on bowling." 

Mr. Marshton — "You'll have to do better than you did last 
time." 

Pensley — "You just watch me." 

(He selects a ball about ten inches in diameter, gets his hand 
well under it, takes a staggering run and sends the ball thunder- 
ing down the alley.) 

Marshton — "By George, that's going to be good." 

( The ball strikes the pins and there is a sound like that made 
by a crew of house-wreckers.) 

P. — "Hot stuff! Set 'em up again, and I'll repeat the dose." 

M. — "Don't get excited. Accidents will happen." 

P. — "Is that so? Just keep an eye on your Uncle Hadley." 

(He selects another huge ball and starts it, but it rolls into the 
trough ten feet from the start.) 

M. (laughing derisively) — "Now you're getting down to your 
proper form." 

(Pensley grabs one of the smaller balls and sends it whizzing. 

23 



24 Chicago Stories 

It describes a long curve down the alley and picks off two pins at 
the corner.) 

P. {in a tone of deep disappointment) — "Only twelve. S-s-t! 
Boy! Same as the last time." 

{He goes to the blackboard, panting loudly, and marks up his 
score.) 

M. {picking out a ball of medium size) — "I think I shall have 
to hit that thing right in the middle." 

P. — "The cigars that you don't." 

M.-"Done." 

{He takes a long running start, the ball rolls somewhat to one 
side, but nine pins go down.) "That's just my luck." 

{The boy with the tray enters again.) 

M. — "Now I'm going to get that other one." 

{He rolls twice. On the second ball the pin falls.) 

"Only ten! Well, it might be worse. It's yours, Artie, but I 
guess you'd better wait till we get what's on me." 

ACT II. 

{Scene — The gymnasium of the Athletic Club. Time n a.m. 
Mr. Pensley and Mr. Marshton are in fighting jerseys and have 
begun to put on two pairs of big white gloves.) 

Mr. Marshton — "You want to make it kind of easy at the 
start, old man; I haven't done much with the gloves for a 
year or two." 

Mr. Pensley — "Look here, don't give me anything like that. 
I've heard about you getting new men in here and putting 
them out." 

Marshton— "Oh, pshaw." 

Pensley — "How long shall we keep at it?" 

M.— "Till we get tired, I guess." 

P. — "Hold on, I'm going to have a brandy-and-soda before 
I go into anything as hard as this." 

M.— "I'll just take one myself." 

( They wait for the brandy-and-soda and then get out on the 
floor and begin to spar quietly, laughing all the time.) 

P. — "I think I can reach that nose in a minute." 

M.— "All right; go ahead and try it." 

{Pensley leads desperately with his right and Marshton coun- 



*Mr. "Pensley Has a Quiet T>ay "Off" 25 

ters with his left, ducking at the same time. He lands on Pens- 
ley's wind and Pensley rushes upon him and staggers him with a 
blow in the neck. They mix it viciously for a minute or two, at the 
end of which time Marshton has a bleeding nose and Pensley is 
gasping violently for breath.) 

P. — "Let's — whew — rest for — a minute — or two." 
M.— "I don't object. It's pretty hard work." 
( They wait two minutes and recover sufficiently to get out and 
"mix things" again.) 

ACT III. 

{Scene — The cafe in the Athletic Club. Time 1:30 p.m. Mr. 
Pensley and his friend Mr. Marshton are facing each other at a 
small table on which are certain remnants and two tall, slender 
bottles, apparently empty. The waiter stands in a respectful and 
listening attitude.) 

Mr. Pensley — "Don't you want any dessert, Joe?" 

Mr. Marshton — "No, I don't believe I do — just a small 
coffee." 

Pensley — "Well, then, I'll take the same. I think I'll have a 
pony of brandy, too. Will you join me, Joe?" 

Marshton — "Um — m — m, yes, I suppose so. I very seldom 
drink it, though, except after dinner." 

P.— "Make it two." 

( The waiter retires.) 

M.-"How'sMrs. Pensley?" 

P. — "Oh, she's fine as a fiddle. You must come up some 
evening, Joe." 

M.— "Yes, I'll do that." 

(Presently the waiter arrives with the coffee and brandy.) 

P. — "John, do you know that Perfecto that I always get 
here? I forget the name, but it's a 25-cent cigar. (The waiter 
bows.) Bring us two of those, and, John, you bring the check 
to me." 

M.— "Here, Artie, I object to that. Didn't I — " 

P. — "Never mind; what's the use of having a day off if you 
can't have your own way? How much is this — #10.50? All 
right." 

( They sit and smoke for awhile.) 



26 Chicago Stories 

ACT IV. 

(Scene — The billiard-room at the Athletic Club. Time 4:30 p.m. 
Mr. Pensley and his friend Mr. Marshton have started upon their 
third 100-point game. Since 2 o'clock each has walked around 
the table about 500 times. They have removed their coats, and are 
somewhat mussed up and streaked with chalk. Mr. Marshton is 
about to attempt a phenomenal masse. He is seated on one side of 
the table, and has his cue poised upright in the air.) 

Mr. Pensley — "Now, Mr. Ives, we will see one of your cele- 
brated shots." 

Mr. Marshton {balancing himself with one toe on the floor and 
jabbing his cue slowly up and down in preparation for a quick 
stroke) — "I don't make this every time.' 1 

Pensley {with sarcastic emphasis) — "No?" 

Marshton (suddenly giving a fierce lunge with his cue and 
making a white dent in the cloth) — "Ugh!" 

(The cue ball buzzes around in a semi-circle and then spins 
like a top, about eighteen inches from the ball it was intended to 
strike.) 

P.— "That's a very fine shot." 

M. — "Yes, I think we had better take something on that." 

P. — "I don't care for a thing except another small bottle of 
beer." 

M. — "Give me the same. I believe I'll have a sandwich 
with mine. We can stop this game long enough to eat some- 
thing, can't we? What do you want, Artie?" 

P. — "Oh, I'm not hungry, but I can eat a Swiss cheese sand- 
wich." 

M. — "Make mine caviare. Now, take that shot." 

P. — "Why, that's easy for me. If I get them down in the 
corner I think I can run out on you." 

(He makes one point, then the balls roll badly, all three lining 
up against the rail. Mr. Marshton lies back in his chair and 
chuckles, while Mr. Pensley leans against the table, slowly chalk- 
ing his cue and regarding the balls with a puzzled expression on 
his face. Several times he makes ready and then pauses to medi- 
tate. Finally he lets go a terrific drive, sending his ball around 
the table. It strikes a large number of cushions and then comes to 



m^^mmtmm^m 



zMr. Vensley Has a Quiet T>ay "Off" 27 




Wy^r^mm 



- {If 




(( 



'{ I N \ 




A DAY OF COMPLETE REST 



28 Chicago Stories 

a rest in a far corner. It is now Mr. Pensley' s time to laugh, 

while Mr. Marshton begins to worry.) 

M. — "By George, I never saw balls roll so badly." 

P. — "Don't kick; don't kick. You have a very easy shot 

there." 

(Mr. Marshton makes the shot and immediately breaks into 

song. He makes a run of 6. Then the refreshments arrive and 

they take a recess.) 

ACT V. 

(Scene — The home of Mr. Arthur Pensley. Time 7 p.m. Mr. 
and Mrs. Pensley at dinner. Mr. Pensley is neglecting the dishes. 
Mrs. Pensley is radiant. Mr. Pensley is inclined to slouch down 
in his chair and close his eyes.) 

Mrs. Pensley — "Arthur, you are not eating at all." 

Mr. Pensley — "Yes I am, my dear. I'm doing first rate." 

Mrs. P. — "You've eaten hardly a thing, and you know it. 
Aren't you well?" 

Mr. P. — "Oh, I'm well enough, but when a man takes a 
day off and lounges around he doesn't have much of an appe- 
tite." 

Mrs. P. — "Where did you have luncheon?" 

Mr. P.— "I had a bite with Joe Marshton at the club." 

Mrs. P. — "What have you been doing all day?" 

Mr. P.— "I just loafed around the club." 

Mrs. P. — "You look as though you had a headache, Ar- 
thur." 

Mr. P. — "I believe I have a slight headache. It's nothing 
serious." 

Mrs. P. — "I'm glad of that. I hope you haven't forgotten 
that we are going up to the Thompsons' dancing party for a 
little while to-night." 

Mr. P.— "Oh, thunder!" 

Mrs. P.— "Arthur! Didn't I tell you all about it the other 
day, and you said you'd go? It's going to be a small affair, and 
Mrs. Thompson simply begged me to come and I promised." 

Mr. P. (in fine irony) — "I feel like dancing. I think a Vir- 
ginia reel would about strike me." 

Mrs. P.— "What's the matter with you?" 



tMr. Tensley Has a Quiet T>ay "Off" 29 

Mr. P. — "My dear, this is just the matter with me: On a 
day off I like to keep quiet and rest up. If not, why take any 
days off? If I go up to the Thompsons' to-night and jump 
around there for two or three hours I know I'd feel rocky in 
the morning. Besides, my health hasn't been very good of 
late. You can see for yourself that I can't eat any dinner." 

Mrs. P.— "What will you do, then?" 

Mr. P. — "I think I'd better retire early. But you go to the 
dance." 

Mrs. P. — "No, Arthur, I'd rather stay here with you. Can't 
I do something for you — a plaster or a cup of tea?" 

Mr. P. — (in evident disgust) — "Tea!" 

Mrs. P. — "Isn't there something else that you want?" 

Mr. P. — "Yes, I want to take a good nap. I'm more used 
up than if I had been working all day." (Exit.) 

Mrs. P. — "I'm worried about him. He can't get his mind 
off his business." 



"Stumpy' and 
Other Interesting People 

THE cars do not run very often in West 12th Street. 
During the wait for one, an opportunity was given 
to study the boy who ruled the neighborhood. He 
must have been 15 years old and large for his age. Although 
he stooped somewhat, evidently from long practice, he had 
broad shoulders and big-knuckled hands. The other boys were 
smaller and stood in awe of him. He was leaning against the 
sunny side of the meat market, addressing his henchmen. It 
was not an easy thing for him to talk, as one side of his face 
was horribly swollen with a gigantic quid of chewing tobacco. 
At intervals he relieved himself and the other boys had to 
jump to get out of the way. By looking at him, one would 
know instinctively that he carried a pair of "knucks" in his 
hip-pocket and a 5-cent book next his heart. 

"Aw, chee," he was saying, "why didn't youse kids tell me 



3° 



Chicago Stories 



'bout t'e Morgan Street push bein' over here ? I ain't a goin' to 
do a t'ing but trun de boots into dat skinny guy wat broke up d' 
game dat day last summer w'en we plays de O'Brien juniors." 
"He says he kin do you," ventured a very small boy with a 
flannel around his neck. 

"So-a-y, mebbe you'd like ter take it up fer him. I'll beat 
t'e face right off ye." 

He started slowly for the small boy, who ran wildly across 
the street and disappeared into an alley. 

"I guess none of you blokies wants to take dat up fer him?" 

No one answered and the 
boy who managed the neigh- 
borhood leaned against the 
building once more and scowled 
in contempt at his admirers. 
"Daniel!" 

A woman suddenly appeared 
from around the meat market 
corner. She was a very small 
woman, weighing perhaps no, 
with a thin face and a wisp of 
hair caught together in a small 
knot. She wore an old calico 
dress and a splattered apron. 
Her sleeves were rolled up and 
her arms were "sudsy." Daniel 
heard her. 

"Wha'je want?" 
"Come here to me." 
"Aw,chee!" 

He started away with her 
and when she had him well in hand she drew back and gave 
him a resounding whack across the side of his head. Daniel 
emitted a yelp and ran on ahead of her. As for the small boys, 
being certain of protection, they shouted derisively at the 
fallen chieftain and the boy with the red flannel came back 
to join in the general glee. 

The justice of the peace was a gray old gentleman with a 




far 



STUMPY LEANED AGAINST 
THE DOORWAY" 



"Stumpy" and Other Interesting People 3 1 

long, white beard. He always looked at a witness through a 
pair of old-fashioned spectacles, which added much to his ex- 
pression of mild inquiry. In fact, he was such a gentle char- 
acter that the shysters and constables managed the business 
of the court, as a rule, and kept him in good humor by ad- 
dressing him as "judge." Very few justices of the peace can 
resist the blandishment of being addressed as "judge." 

The justice was not a man of quick decision. In almost ev- 
ery case where the testimony /p s at all conflicting, he remained 
in doubt for several moments. However, he had laid down a 
rule of conduct for just such an emergency. It was, "In case 
of doubt, decide in favor of the plaintiff and order the defend- 
ant to pay the costs." This rule, consistently followed, had 
brought him a large revenue, as well as making him popular 
with a large following of constables. His sincerity was some- 
times questioned, but the fact remained that he was an inno- 
cent old person who was firmly opposed to all manner of worldly 
vice and folly. 

One day a complicated trial was dragging along. The charge 
was assault and battery. About half the witnesses had per- 
jured themselves and now an attempt was being made to im- 
peach the character of the plaintiff, a small man who sat by 
the stove, his face wrapped in bandages. 

The principal impeaching witness was "Stumpy" Carroll, 
a young man who had been leaning in the doorway, tucking 
up his trousers with his thumbs and clucking at an invisible 
horse. Luckily the judge did not understand the significance 
of this sound or he might have fined "Stumpy" for contempt 
of court. 

When the oath was administered, "Stumpy" raised his hand 
almost as high as his shoulder and answered in a firm voice: 
"Sure." He was then taken in hand by the attorney for the 
defense, who addressed him as "Mr. Carroll." 



Attorney — "Mr. Carroll, are you acquainted with the plain- 
tiff in this case?" 

Witness — "Doyou mean his rabs that's got his face tied up ?" 
Attorney— "Yes, sir." 



2 2 Chicago Stories 

Witness — "I know him easy." 

Court— "How's that?" 

Witness — "I know him wit' both eyes shut, see?" 

Attorney — "He means that he knows him intimately. Are 
you acquainted with the circumstances of this alleged as- 
sault?" 

Witness — "D'ye mean de scrap?" 

Attorney — "Exactly, Mr. Carroll; the fight, to couch it in 
more familiar language." 

Witness — "It's just this way: He was huntin' for it and he 
got it." 

Attorney — "You mean that he provoked the assault?" 

Witness — "He went up agin it and was faded ; now he wants 
to beef and you can bet y'r natural that's the size of it." 

Court — "What do you mean by all that?" 

Attorney — "He means, your honor, that this plaintiff, after 
instigating the trouble and compelling the defendant to strike 
him in self-defense, now seeks to show that the defendant was 
the guilty party. Am I not right, Mr. Carroll?" 

Witness — "Sure enough." 

Court — "That's no evidence. Let him tell what he saw, and 
let him talk so that the court may understand what he means." 

Witness — "If I asked him to come out and t'row in a blow 
I kind o' guess he'd drop." 

The court rapped loudly and said, "No impertinence, sir; 
no impertinence!" while the plaintiff's attorney muttered so 
it could be heard all over the room: "An outrage!" There was 
no need of his saying this, for he had the case already won by 
virtue of the fact that he represented the plaintiff. The exam- 
ination then continued. 

Attorney — "Did you see the altercation?" 

Witness — "You mean was I there when Billy smashed 'im ?" 

Attorney — "Exactly . " 

Witness — "Naw, and it's a good t'ing I wasn't. I'd a' been 
in it; I'll never see no friend o' mine trun " 

Attorney — "Yes, certainly, but you were not there. Now, 
Mr. Carroll, I wish to ask you if you are acquainted with the 
reputation of the plaintiff in the neighborhood in which he 
resides?" 



■ 



"Stumpy" and Other Interesting People 33 

Witness — "You'll have to come again, Cap." 

Attorney — "Do you know this plaintiff? What is his repu- 
tation; what do people say about him?" 

Witness — "Everybody that's on to him says he's a fink." 

Court— "A wh-a-a-at?" 

Attorney — "Be somewhat more explicit, Mr. Carroll." 

Witness — "You know what I mean; he's a stiff, a skate. He 
drinks and never comes up. He's always layin' to make a touch, 
too. I know that boy like a book." 

* * * 

Attorney — "You say he is a disreputable character; that he 
waits around saloons so as to be invited to drink, and that he 
borrows money and does not repay it?" 

Witness — "Put it to suit yourself; only remember he's an 
all-round gazabo." 

Court — "Gazabo? Gazabo? What language is this?" 

Attorney — "He means, your honor, that this plaintiff is 
thoroughly unreliable." 

Court — "Humph ! What did you ever see wrong about him ?" 

Witness — "Well, it's this way; he always got sore when any 
of the gang joshed him." 

Court— "What's that last word ?" 

Attorney — "He says the man became angry at the slight- 
est provocation." 

Court — "Anything else the matter with him?" 

Witness — "W T ell, I never thought he was right. He always 
acted to me kind o' nutty." 

Court-"Nutty? Nutty?" 

Witness — "That's what I said, you know — wheels. I don't 
say he's gone, but I guess some of his lamps is out, all right." 

Attorney — "Sort of crazy, eh ?" 

Witness — "That's what he is. I got so I ducked every time 
I see him. It's a common sayin' around the corner: 'His trol- 
ley's off.' They're all onto him." 

Court — "You say his trolley is off and some of his lamps 
have gone out?" 

Witness — "That's what they are." 

Court — "Do you know the defendant?" 

Witness — "Who? Billy, here? Well, I guess yes. Me and 



34 Chicago Stories 

him challenge together at the nint' precinct. I'll say this: If 
you soak him it's dead wrong." 

Court — "There is no necessity of you making any sugges- 
tion to the court." 

Witness— "Let it go at that, uncle." 

Attorney for the Plaintiff — "Your honor, I must object to 
the continued disrespect on the part of the witness. It is bad 
enough for him to slander this plaintiff, a man who is here 
bearing upon his person the marks of that devilish assault, but 
he also insults the court in the most brazen manner. It is dis- 
graceful." 

Having thus delivered himself, he glared wildly around the 
court-room to note the effect of his words. "Stumpy" looked 
at him calmly with one of those oh-if-I-had-you-outside ex- 
pressions on his face, then he clucked a couple of times and 
said: "Back up." 

"I repeat it," said the counsel for the man in bandages. 

"What you say cuts no ice with me," remarked the witness. 

He was not cross-examined, and the case was at once sub- 
mitted without argument, "Stumpy's" friend being assessed 
the usual amount "and costs." 



Small Shops of the City 

ON THE west side is a cobbler's shop which is so small 
that the customers must wait their turns and go in 
one at a time. 
Compared with this shop a bath-room is a reckless waste of 
space. 

The pigmy structure has crawled in between two two-story 
buildings, and they seem, by contrast, to be skyscrapers. 
It has a floor and a roof. 

The walls are those of the adjacent buildings. 
The shop is, therefore, a small tunnel plugged at both ends. 
It is just as wide as the street door, but it is fully twenty feet 
long. The only clear space is the four feet next the front door. 



Small Shops of the City 



35 







Then comes the cobbler's bench. There 
would be no room sidewise, and so the 
bench is against one of the walls. 

When the cobbler leans over to pound 
the heavy tacks in a shoe strapped to his 
knee his head almost touches the other wall. 
A pound of coal blazes merrily in a toy 
stove. From the stove extending to the 
dusty window at the rear are shelves loaded 
with paper boxes and old shoes. 

There are pairs of boots hanging from the 
ceiling and rolls of leather lying along the 
floor. 

The passageway to the back window is so narrow that only 
a small man like the cobbler could travel it. 

The cobbler is a short man with a saffron complexion and 
snow-white hair. His bared arms are the color of his face, a 
bronzed yellow, and his hair, which begins far back on his 
head, is worn in a bristling pompadour. If he were to put on 
evening dress and appear at a 
dinner every one would think 
him a foreign diplomat instead 
of a West Madison Street cob- 
bler. His beard and mustache, 
also white, are worn quite short. 
When a visitor enters, the 
cobbler must stop work, be- 
cause his light is shut off. He 
answers questions with a quiet 
dignity and waits for the caller 
to go away. It is no place for 
neighborhood loafers. This is 
one case where the room must 
be more valuable than the 
company. 

The shop is but one of many 
in West Madison Street, be- 
tween Western Avenue and the 
It is perhaps narrower 




s /&/fr/- 



river. 



A SIX-FOOT FRONTAGE 



36 



Chicago Stories 



and more crowded than some of the others, although there 
are plenty which fill in between larger buildings. They are as 
snug as fo'castles and as picturesque as mountain chalets. 
What is more they are where one may see them any day. 

"Why should I have a larger place?" said the old cobbler. 
"I have room here to do my work and keep what little stock 
I need. Rents are high and a man who does work at a low 
price must find a cheap location. This is better than a base- 
ment." 




BAKER^ 



{ilWlMI 



&ZPT- 



This busy street, the artery of the west division, has a cer- 
tain character which is lacking in those thoroughfares that 
were swept by the great fire. 

Here is an older portion of the town, for it must be remem- 
bered that Halsted Street was the western border of the city 
limits, when 12th Street was the southern boundary. 

Some of the landmarks 
remain. Houses that were 
once outlying cottages have 
been furnished with store 
fronts and blazing signs. 

There are buildings in 
West Madison Street not 
much larger than dove-cotes 
and there are others each as 
large as a pyramid. 

If the hand of improve- 
ment can be stayed for fifty 
years some of the west side 
streets will be museums of 
antiquity. As a rule, how- 
ever, the hand of progress 
does not hold back because 
of any regard for landmarks. 
As an instance: 
Until a few years ago there stood at the corner of Jefferson 
and West Monroe streets an old-fashioned white house. 

It was kept white only by constant painting, for the smoky 
factories had hemmed it in and pushed their high, ugly walls 
up to the very flower-beds of the front yard. 




FILLING IN ONE OF THE CHINKS 



Small Shops of the City 



37 




A LANDMARK AND ITS NEW FRONT 



They were old-fashioned flowers — nasturtiums, hollyhocks 
and sweet peas. Over the trellised porch climbed the honey- 
suckles. 

Every day an old man attired in the fashions of fifty years 
ago, could be seen sprinkling the flowers and plucking away 
the dead leaves. 

The sight of this old 
white house with its frame 
of green and blossoms was 
like a moment's liberty 
to the men who toiled in 
that noise-ridden and 
smoke-laden part of the 
town. People pointed out 
the place and told how 
this old man with the 
swallow-tail coat and 
brass buttons had clung 
to his house after all his 
former neighbors had fled before the advance of big buildings. 

One day there was a streamer of crape on the door, and 
next day the best old families came into the factory district 
in their carriages and gave the old gentleman a correct 
burying. 

The next week some drays backed up and hauled away the 
hair-cloth chairs and black-walnut book-cases. 

Then a crowd of workmen swarmed to the place, tramping 
down the flowers. Within an hour after they arrived the house 
stood open and windowless. One man climbed out on the roof 
and began to chop away a gable. In four days the landmark 
was a strewn heap of rubbish. 

One would not recognize the corner now. It is occupied by 
a tall, box-like building of brick. 

It has been so and must be so with many old buildings of 
the west side as the frontage becomes more valuable. The pres- 
sure of business is already felt when the small stores begin to 
fill in the chinks. 

There are some very small places, with a frontage of three 
or four feet each, which pay an average rental of $10 a month. 



38 



Chicago Stories 



Then there are larger establishments, say ten feet frontage or 
slightly less, which pay at least #25 a month each. 

Near Center Avenue and on the north side of the street are 
a bakery and a laundry office, both of which get along com- 
fortably in a room less than ten feet wide. When it comes to 

doing business in a place of 
that size everything must be 
kept ship-shape and a great 
many articles must be hung 
on nails or put on high shelves. 
Only a few doors away is a 
tailor-shop of about the same 
proportions. A few bolts of 
cloth are tucked behind the 
little show window. Likemany 
of these dwarf stores the tai- 
lor-shop has pushed up a bul- 
letin board from the roof, so as 
to make room for a sign large 
enough to attract attention. 
Only a little farther east are two very small cobbler-shops, 
one of which has already been described. The other is perhaps 
an inch or two wider and the occupant is a young man who 
works at a bench near the door so as to catch all the light that 
falls into his cubby hole. This second place is near May Street 
and fits tightly in between a grocery and a steam laundry. 

The smallest tailoring establishment of the lot is near Car- 
penter Street. It has a frontage of six feet, yet the proprietor 
manages to have a neat window display. His bolts of cloth are 
stacked closely against the wall, so as to give visitors a chance 
to get back to the stove and the working part of the shop. In 
spite of the cramp, three friends" of the proprietor manage to 
wedge in near the stove and talk politics to him while he sits 
cross-legged, with his glasses on the end of hisnose, and stitches 
on a pair of trousers. 




JUST AS WIDE AS THE DOORWAY 



Near this shop are two places which equally divide between 
them a small and low addition built out to the street from a 



Small Shops of the City 39 

venerable frame building with a peaked roof. One-half of the 
addition is a laundry office and the other half is a tailor-shop. 
Over the narrow cornice the old building rises abruptly, as 
though built upon the flat roof. Just to the west is the sheer wall 
of a high brick structure. As though it could find no draught 
for its chimneys in such a pocket, the small building has long 
metallic pipes which reach over and connect with the flues of 

the tall building. 

* * * 

Near Green Street there is an undersized candy store. The 
window is large enough to show a dozen dishes of candy. The 
little showcase set outside takes all the frontage not given to 
the door. The single counter is narrow and only one side is 
shelved. Not far from Union Street is a yellow-front restau- 
rant, very aptly called "The Hole in the Wall." The capacity 
is apparently anywhere from seven to twelve, and the cook 
has a back room larger than a telephone booth. Windows at 
each end admit plenty of light and the place is quite clean. 
The frontage cannot be more than ten feet. 

* * * 

It would be a long story to tell of all the places, each of 
which selfishly takes up as much as fourteen feet of the street. 
This chapter has dealt only with the stores that are actually 
small. 



The Intellectual Awakening 
in Burton's Row 

BURTON'S ROW was, in some respects, a little world 
to itself. It was the nucleus of a new suburb, sprung 
up at the end of a narrow wooden sidewalk which 
spanned the prairie to the south. In winter the sidewalk was 
sometimes hopelessly lost in the snow. In the early spring sec- 
tions of it were either submerged or else floated about as rafts 
for the Hanrahan boys. 

The implement factory, where all but one of the men were 



4-0 Chicago Stories 

employed, was half a mile distant, and the school was three- 
quarters of a mile in another direction. The man who didn't 
work at the implement factory was Mr. Dawson, who was a 
photographer with two small rooms near the factory. The 
neighborhood was not much addicted to the folly of posing 
before a camera, and Mr. Dawson depended largely on the 
tin-type habit among the younger people, with a sprinkling of 
babies and brides to be done in cabinet size. 

Mr. Dawson could properly be called the prominent man 
of Burton's Row, not only because of his superior attainments, 
but also because of his wife. It was understood that she had 
been a school-teacher out in the country somewhere before 
she became Mrs. Dawson. 

Mr. and Mrs . Dawson were responsible for the literary move- 
ment in Burton's Row. 

The owner of the six houses was a hopeful speculator of the 
name of Burton. It was his policy to go out into the country 
and begin a town and then permit the city to "build out to it," 
buying the lots from him. In this instance the city had been 
backward in filling up the gap. By some calculation Burton 
had discovered that his six houses had numbers and were on 
an extension of some city street. The numbers were quite large 
and the figures many; so it was easier to speak of the six houses 
as Burton's Row and to number them from I to 6, beginning 
at the east. 

The Swanson's lived at No. I. Mr. Swanson was a sober, 
industrious young man and the father of a flaxen-haired girl. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hanrahan and their two children were in the 
next house. The Williams couple, lately married, were in No. 3 
with a lot of new furniture. The Dawsons were in No. 4. Old 
Mr. McClatchey, day watchman at the factory, was a wid- 
ower. His youngest daughter, 15 years old, attended to the 
household affairs. They lived at No. 5. At No. 6 resided the 
Neinbergers, he and she and the three children. Therefore the 
little world had eighteen persons. 

* * * 

The row was built after a socialistic pattern. Each house 
was exactly like every other. They were all the same height 
and width. One fence reached the length of the row. The only 



The Intellectual ^Awakening in "Burton s Row 4 1 

differences were trivial. The Dawsons had a door-mat on the 
low front stoop. Mrs. Swanson always kept flowers in the win- 
dow. In the McClatchey front yard was a stake, to which the 
goat was usually tied. Mrs. Neinberger's curtains had scen- 
ery painted on them. A drunken man would have had some 
trouble in picking out the right place, but Mr. Williams, who 
was the only one addicted to strong drink, never made a mis- 
take. He would pick out the two middle houses and enter the 
one that had no door-mat in front. 

The women, being left to themselves all day, soon became 
fast friends. They found material for gossip in the routine of 
their daily life, and when nothing else could be done they com- 
pared husbands. 

It was during these talks with the other women that Mrs. 
Dawson became impressed with the idea that she should be 
an instrument for lifting Burton's Row to something above 
the dull consideration of eating, working and sleeping. In the 
outside world great things were transpiring. They, as wage- 
workers, were affected and they should know the truth and 
be guided by it. So she spoke to her husband. 

"Let us organize a neighborhood club," said she. "We will 
meet once a week to discuss matters of current interest. The 
men will be encouraged to read the newspapers, and the ex- 
change of opinions cannot help but broaden their views." 

"I think it's a good plan, Luella. It'll give me a chance to 
buckle McClatchey and Hanrahan on this tariff business. 
They're free-traders, but they don't know why. I can show 
them why they've been working half-time all winter." 

"Yes, but you must be careful and not antagonize them too 
much. We want to discuss everything fairly and without pas- 
sion. Now, what shall we call it?" 

He left it all to her, and she selected "The Circle of Inquiry." 

* * * 

The first meeting was called for the following Monday eve- 
ning. The cards of invitation caused such a commotion as had 
not been known since the day the Hanrahan boy had been 
knocked senseless by the McClatchey goat. Mrs. Dawson fol- 
lowed up the cards with calls along the row, and she secured 
the cooperation of all the women, except the McClatchey girl, 



42 Chicago Stories 

who, she said, was hardly old enough to grasp the subjects to 
be taken up. Having the women, she was sure of the men, al- 
though Mrs. Swanson experienced great difficulty in convinc- 
ing her husband that he should attend. 

This was to be the first formal gathering of the residents of 
Burton's Row. As announced by word of mouth, the programme 
was to consist of a paper on "Immigration," read by Mrs. 
Dawson, after which the members of the circle would be ex- 
pected to join in a general discussion. 

* * * 

The Dawson front room was dusted and tidied on Monday 
evening. In the dining-room a cocoanut cake, a bowl of apples 
and several pies were in readiness for the "lap supper," which 
was to be served as soon as the immigration problem had been 
solved. 

Never before, it is safe to say, had there been so much scrub- 
bing, button-hunting and shoe-polishing all at one time as on 
this Monday evening. Mrs. Dawson was amazed at the change 
in her neighbors as they arrived in twos, all except old Mr. 
McClatchey, who came alone with a clean shave, a long black 
coat and a huge black cravat. They sat timidly around the 
wall. Under the restraining influence of their best clothes and 
the impending solemnity they appeared to forget that they 
knew one another. 

"Well, Mr. Hanrahan, it is quite a nice night outside," re- 
marked Mr. Williams. 

"It is that, the finest I ever see," said Mr. Hanrahan. 

"I think we'll have some good weather now," joined in Mr. 
Swanson, shifting his feet uneasily. 

Old Mr. McClatchey, who had been gazing thoughtfully 
at the floor, nodded his head in assent. 

Just then there was a rustling of manuscript. Mrs. Dawson 
had taken her place at the center-table and unrolled her "pa- 
per." A most profound silence was given her. She began to read. 

* * * 

It appeared that she regarded the United States as an asy- 
lum for the poor and downtrodden of the earth, but she was 
bitterly opposed to the importation of the criminal and pauper 
elements of Europe. She was also against anarchy, and be- 



The Intellectual ^Awakening in ^Burton s Row 43 

lieved that unless immigrants were willing to accept our insti- 
tutions, abide by our laws and become good American citi- 
zens they should at once return to their native lands. 

These highly original views were indorsed by Mr. McClatch- 
ey,who not only nodded his head, but said aloud several times 
"Y'r right." 

Mrs. Dawson concluded with a brief extract from Emerson 

and then said : "We shall be glad to hear from any one on the 

subject." 

* * * 

After a few moments of awkward silence McClatchey began. 

He said, in opening, that we are all foreigners. Because some 
one got here twenty years ahead of somebody else was no rea- 
son why the second man should be shut out of the game. He 
was in favor of letting in everybody except the Chinese. These, 
however, were not his exact words. 

"I'll just tell you what's the trouble," broke in Mrs. Wil- 
liams. "The foreigners come in here and take all the offices. I 




44 Chicago Stories 

don't object to them coming here, but they ought to wait 
awhile before they run everything." 

"Who runs everything?" asked Mr. Hanrahan, who was 
becoming agitated. 

"The Irish!" she answered, sharply. 

"Y'r right," he said, smiting the table. "And why?" 

He told them. The Irishman got out and hustled. He al- 
ways voted, he attended the primaries and he stood up for his 
rights. What did the American do? Staid at home and kicked. 
He finished by telling Mrs. Williams that she talked like a 
"female depaty." 

"Hold on, Terry," broke in Mr. Williams. "Don't talk like 
that. You know that I don't care a continental where a man 
was born, but I do say we don't want no cheap labor piled in 
on us." 

Hanrahan arose. "I'm a mimber of the union. No man can 
iver saay I worked cheap. Can they, McClatchey?" 

Mr. McClatchey shook his head. 

Mr. Williams hastened to apologize. Mr. Hanrahan still had 
the floor. "I do move," said he, "that immigration is all right 
except for crooks." 

The American-born vote was disconcerted and saw itself 
beaten. "All in favor," said Mr. Hanrahan. It was carried 
unanimously. He sat down. 

Another painful pause and Mrs. Neinberger came in. She 
asked Mr. McClatchey about the goat. He chuckled at the 
suggestion and began to talk. When he concluded it was time 
for the lap supper. 

On the following Monday evening the meeting was at the 

Hanrahan house, the host entertaining his guests by playing 

the flute. 

* * * 

Mr. Neinberger, when it came his time to receive on Mon- 
day evening, had a German supper. The men played seven-up 
in the front room and the women got together in the back 
room. Thus it was that the Circle of Inquiry became a pop- 
ular institution in Burton's Row. 



Some Instances 
of Political Devotion 

ELECTION day was near at hand and the Monica lodg- 
ing house was full every night. 
"Tommy," the proprietor, had all the men listed 
and tabbed. He was under contract to deliver them early on 
Tuesday morning at so much per head and he was largely de- 
pending on "Cinch" to help him. "Cinch" was the "scrapper" 
of the house. He was a tall, broad-shouldered man with a frowsy 
head and a rough beard somewhat bleached from long marches 
in the sun. His enormous capacity for liquor, his ability as a 
fighter and his supreme antipathy to work made him a nat- 
ural leader among the bleary guests of the Monica, who had 
been gathered together that they might exercise their rights 
as free-born citizens. When a man came home raving full of 
stale beer it was the duty of "Cinch" to choke him until he 
was quiet and then jam him into one of the bunks. If a mem- 
ber of the colony went astray and threatened to desert before 
election day it was "Cinch" who went out among the barrel- 
houses until he caught the offender and brought him home in 
disgrace. 

It was clear that "Cinch" had in him the making of a prac- 
tical politician of great value. He proved this by selling out at 
the right time. 

The news reached "Tommy" on the eve of election. The 
proprietor did not live at the Monica. He had rooms in an- 
other building farther to the north, on the dead line between 
the business houses and the lava beds. At least once a day, 
however, he came to his hotel to look after his business affairs 
and the herd of voters. It was a wearing responsibility, for he 
knew very well that, as the voting hour drew near, the agents 
of the corrupt opposition would be among his followers, at- 
tempting to lure them away with drinks and bribes. There 
can be no greater disgrace for a working politician than to 
lodge a man for two weeks before election and then lose his 
vote on election morning. He becomes an object of contempt, 

45 



46 Chicago Stories 

and in the next fight no money is "placed" with him. "Tom- 
my" believed that his forces were true to him. Here, on the 
night before election, most of the men were in the house, the 
others were almost sure to turn up before morning, and 
"Cinch" was full of hopeful promises. 

"Tommy" sat apart from the others, smoking a long cigar 
vigorously, so as to kill the other odors, when he felt a hand 
laid on his shoulder. Turning about, he saw the small red face 
of "Bumpers." 

"Tommy, they're givin' y' the double-cross," said "Bump- 
ers," in a stage whisper. 

"Is that so?" said "Tommy," sarcastically. He was accus- 
tomed to get such reports. 

"Yes, it's so. 'Cinch' is t'e hull 'ting in it, too. I see him 
talkin' to Fatty, de fly-cop, a long time to-day, and to-night 
he passes each o' de boys a buck an says, 'stay wit' me an' 
t'ere's another one in it.' " In proof of his assertions, "Bump- 
ers" produced a dollar from a rat's nest, which had once been 
a pocket. The sight of the dollar was enough for "Tommy." 
He handed "Bumpers" another dollar and said: "Keep your 

face closed." 

* * * 

It was the predicament of a statesman's life. He knew that 
the lodgers feared "Cinch" and looked upon him as a leader. 
"Cinch" had money, too, and was evidently in a deep con- 
spiracy to steal the entire vote of the house. What could be 
done? "Tommy" made up his mind after some deep thought. 

Ten minutes later he and "Cinch" were leaning against a 
polished bar. "Tommy" was buying drinks, and "Cinch" was 
gulping them down with evident enjoyment. It was a first- 
class place and "Cinch" recognized a difference in the whisky. 
After remaining there long enough "Tommy" carefully steered 
the traitor south toward the hotel and pulled him into a 5-cent 
place. "Cinch" had reached a condition in which the drinks 
are thrown in mechanically and without calculation of prob- 
able effect. 

When they reached the lodging house the office was swarm- 
ing with colonists, and "Cinch" was deeply under the influ- 
ence of the two kinds of red liquor. Every one knew that when 



Some Instances of "Political T)evotion 



47 



he was in that state he would insist on fighting. They waited 
in terror. 

This was the time for "Tommy." He went behind the high 
pine desk and removed his hat, coat, collar and cuffs. "Cinch" 
was declaiming loudly and threatening death to all about him. 

"Tommy" walked up to him and gave him a push. "Shut 
up, you big stiff, and go to bed." 

The little company of 
"hobos" was amazed. So 
was "Cinch." He started 
in to kill "Tommy" but 
"Tommy" had put the 
drinks in the right place. 
"Tommy" butted him, 
upper-cut him, knocked 
him down, jumped on 
him, beat his head 
against the floor and fi- 
nally sat on him slowly 
pummeling his face until 
"Cinch" cried "Enough." 
Then he arose and said: 
"Is there any other bum that wants to throw me down?" 

No one answered. 

"To-morrow morning," said "Tommy," "I want every one 
of you to go with me and vote. You needn't be afraid of that 
guy I just licked. To-day I give him some money for you boys 
and I hear he was tellin' around that it came from the other 
side. Are you boys with me ? [Loud shouts of "Yes !" and "You 
bet!"] All right." 

When "Cinch" arose next morning he was weak, sore and 
humiliated. His prestige was gone. He fell in line with the 
others and marched over to the polling place. The precinct did 
more than was promised and "Tommy" handled "soft mon- 
ey" that evening. Next day the lodgers were thrown out into 
the street and the regular rate of 1 5 cents a night was restored. 

* * * 

On the morning of the day last December when voters were 
choosing between Hopkins and Swift a very prominent repub- 




TOOK HIM TO THE LODGING HOUSE 



4 8 



Chicago Stories 



lican politician, who was a member of the campaign commit- 
tee, went into the I st ward to quietly look for frauds. He pulled 
up his coat-collar, drew his hat forward and loafed around the 
polling places just to see what was happening and not to at- 
tract attention. In the "Hinky Dink" precinct he was stand- 
ing apart watching the barrel-house delegation put in enough 
ballots to offset the entire school-teacher vote. A man with a 
badge noticed him and called him aside. 
"Have you voted yet?" he asked. 
"No, not yet." 
"Come on over and have a drink." 

They went into the 
headquarters conducted 
by"HinkyDink"McKen- 
na and the man wearing 
the badge stood treat. 
The two talked for a min- 
ute or two about the 
weather and the probable 
size of the vote, and then 
the prominent republican 
began to edge toward the 
door. But the other man 
followed him. 

"Here," said he, push- 
ing a half dollar into his 
hand. "Don't put it off 
any longer, but go and 
vote for Hopkins." 
The prominent republican was too much amazed to return 
the money. He began to wonder if he resembled a tramp. It 
was a good joke, but perhaps the joke was on him. At any 
rate he didn't tell the story until some time afterward. 

* * * 
Under the old wide-open system the "floater" was paid to 
vote a certain ticket which was placed in his hand and which 
was put into the ballot-box under the eye of the purchaser. 
Nowadays the only thing to do is to hire him to vote and to 
depend on his promise that he will vote a certain ticket. At 




TOMMY IMPROVED THE OPPORTUNITY 



Some Instances of^Political Devotion 49 

one of the late elections a precinct boss had been guaranteed 
#100 if he could get a majority of fifty for the ticket. The pre- 
cinct had been well canvassed and at 3 o'clock in the after- 
noon, having checked off the voters, he began to fear that he 
needed a few more ballots. Imagine his joy when he saw an 
even dozen members of his party lounging down toward the 
polls. He had been sending around for these fellows all day, 
but they had eluded him. And now, instead of marching up to 
the polling place, they halted in front of a saloon and began 
to sun themselves. The "boss" went over to speak to them. 
"Boys, you'd better hurry up and vote. Polls close purty 



soon." 



"Aw, we ain't in any hurry," remarked the spokesman. 

"You're not goin' back on us, are you ?" 

"We'll vote your ticket if we vote any, but we don't care 
much to vote." 

"How much do you want?" 

"Five apiece, and there's twelve of us." 

"You'll not get it. I'll give you a dollar apiece." 

"That's all right. We won't vote." 

For a quarter of an hour they wrangled, each declaring he 
would not give in. At the end of that time the "boss" gave 
#25 and it was divided among them, $3 to the spokesman and 
$2 to each of the others. Then they marked up and did their 
duty to the party, and the "boss" saved his $100. 

* * * 

It is a curious fact in municipal politics that the man who 
must be paid before he will vote always seeks an office in case 
his party is victorious. At the latest important city election 
the democrats expended over $10,000 in the 1st ward in order 
to capture the "floaters," the "bums," the "lodgers" and the 
shoulder-hitters. They captured them by outbidding and out- 
generaling the republicans, who were just as anxious to or- 
ganize what Michael McDonald calls "the better element." 
The democrats expended considerably over $2 for each vote 
obtained in the ward. It was a "fair" price. As the daughter 
of the Texas congressman says in the play: "Thank goodness 
every voter was paid and father is under obligations to no 
one." Yet the story around the city hall is that after the 1st 



5° 



Chicago Stories 



ward has been bought with hard money it demands other fa- 
vors. It wishes to run all-night saloons, opium dens, crap games, 
gambling houses and prize-fighting clubs, all because it gave 
a majority! It wants to be paid twice. As for the voters them- 
selves, each one tramps the dim hallways of the city hall look- 
ing for some kind of an easy, restful job with a large salary 
attached. 

* * * 
Where these patient applicants are gathered together you 
may hear the tales of political ingratitude. 

One man had his head laid open while attempting to kill a 
Swede in the "ate" precinct, and yet nothing had been done 
for him. 

Another marched every night and carried a flag, but they 
hadn't noticed him since election. 

The most pathetic story was by a young man who held up 
two battered hands for inspection. The twisted fingers had 
evidently been broken, as they were stiff and big at the joints. 

"See them mits?" said 
he. "I got 'em that way 
playing ball for John P. 
Hopkins. Out there in Pull- 
man he got up a ball team 
to go out and represent the 
town. I went out and 
played all summer and 
used up my hands. Now he 
throws me down. That 
shows how much a man 
cares for you after he gets 
in. I always thought John 
would do the right thing 
by me. I played good ball, 
told him to go and vote if I do say it myself." 




*S5^ 




Old Days on the Canal 

IN THE good old days, before the town lay under a pall of 
smoke and the rushing trains bore down their victims at 
every crossing, life was happy along the "levee." The 
"levee" in question is not that part of State Street taken up 
by cheap theaters, saloons and pawn-shops, but it is and was 
the row of houses fronting on the Illinois and Michigan Canal 
just as it joins the south branch of the Chicago River. The 
"levee" lies just east from Ashland Avenue and would be on a 
line with 29th Street if the latter could only be extended 
through the diagonal streets and crowded dock buildings of 
old Bridgeport. 

When the canalboats loaded with grain, came crowding one 
another up to the stone lock, when money was plenty and 
profits were big and an army of men found employment along 
the old Illinois and Michigan, the Canal House was crowded 
every night. It was the long, frame hotel at the west end of 
the row and was called a pretentious hotel in its day. Some 
big card games were played inside its walls, and the old cap- 
tains still remember some of the fine dinners spread there. 
Along the row were saloons and groceries, the two being much 
the same in those days, where high revels, with some rough- 
and-tumble fighting, were of nightly occurrence. The "levee," 
the like of which is to be found in every canal or river town, 
had its rise and fall with the canal. 

5i 



Chicago Stories 



It began in 1848, when the canal was completed and the 
first boat came in tow from Lockport. That year Chicago 
spent over $400,000 in constructing canalboats. The "levee" 
grew with the traffic until 1866, which was the most prosper- 
ous year ever known. But the epidemic of railroad-building 
which began just after the close of the war sent branch roads 
whip-sawing all through the canal's territory. The roads be- 
gan a persistent fight 
against the boats. The pas- 
senger business thay had 
captured long before, and 
the war on freights is still 
waging. The tolls decreased 
steadily from 1866, yet the 
canal is to-day an impor- 
tant waterway of which 
the late-comers to Chicago 
know very little and of 
which the older citizens 
have forgotten much. Yet 
this is the same town that 
turned out men, women 
and children on Independ- 
ence Day in the '30s to celebrate the first excavating. Hun- 
dreds of persons marched down the old Archer's Road to 
Bridgeport. Others rode in boats which were pulled up the 
Chicago River by horses. Speeches were made and a spirit of 
intense jollification marked the beginning of an enterprise 
which was amply fulfilled and which is now forgotten and 
neglected, as are the pathetic old buildings along the "levee." 

* * * 
The Canal House leans wearily forward on its supports. Its 
windows have been torn out and the front doors are nailed 
over with boards. The warped clapboards have been worn 
black by wind and weather. Nothing is needed to complete 
the ruin. Only a few years ago a man reopened the front room 
as a saloon. The old canalboats creeping by were surprised to 
find a new gilt sign on the dingy front, but they were not sur- 
prised when one day it disappeared and the boards were again 




ONE END OF THE LOCK 



Old "Days on the Canal 



53 



nailed over the front. Every square-fronted building in the 
row stands vacant, with rough boards nailed against the doors 
and windows. The open ground in front, once a busy street, 
has sparse bunches of grass overgrowing it. Sometimes for half 
a day at a time no living thing is seen along the deserted water 
front. A stone abutment spotted with moss marks the loca- 
tion of the old lock. The greatness of the "levee" lives only 
in memory. 

The Illinois and Michigan Canal divides like a letter Y just 
before it joins the south branch. On the northern arm of the 
canal is the lock through which the boats must pass in and 
out. On the other arm are the Bridgeport pumps, which make 
an earnest although somewhat futile effort to lift into the 
canal from the south branch enough water to cause the river 
to flow in from Lake Michigan, instead of sending its slow 
and filthy current out into the city's water supply. The pumps 
have never succeeded in purifying the river, but they empty 
enough black water into the canal to give it a current of four 
or more miles an hour and give it a level of several feet above 

the south branch. 

* * * 

There are about sixty canalboats now plying between Chi- 
cago and various points on the canal and the Illinois River. Of 
these about thirty handle coal from the quarries. The others 
are grain-boats, which, on the down trips, carry coal, lumber 
and various other supplies for which there is a country de- 
mand. Until last year the ice-boats did a big business, but the 
drainage canal along the 
Des Plaines valley crowded 
some of the ice houses out 
of the way and the rail- 
roads competed so strongly 
that they captured the 
business of those remain- 
ing. The ice-boats are float- 
ing idly along the canal 
and a half-dozen big deliv- 
ery wagons are lined up 
near the dock, showing all coming out of the lock 




54 Chicago Stories 

degrees of weather-beaten neglect. One of the fleets which 
went down the canal recently consisted of a tug, a heavy 
stonebarge and one of the veteran ice-boats, roofed over and 
having little windows along the sides, so that it very closely 
resembled the pictures of Noah's ark. 

Inspector Mulcahy opened the gates at the east and the 
water ran out. The tug and the stonebarge crept into the lock 
and the gates closed behind them. The side gate was opened 
and the rush of water lifted them to the new level. 

"What are you goin' to do with the old hulk?" asked the 
inspector. 

"I s'pose we'll knock her into kindlin' wood," replied the 
mate, or bos'n, or something of the stonebarge. 

An elderly man, very short and with iron-gray whiskers, 
explained that the Iceland was one of the oldest tows on the 
canal. 

"All the old ones are going," he said. "The business is noth- 
ing like it used to be, when we traveled with mules and lived, 
right with our families, on the boats. We could make money 
in those days. I've seen as many as 300 boats waiting at 
LaSalle, and this country right around here used to be pretty 
lively, too. This spring I've made two trips to Henry for grain, 
but there wasn't any money in it. The railroads cut rates at 
every point we can touch with boats. But they can't kill the 
canal, because the state takes care of it and keeps it dredged 

out -" * * * 

* * * 

There was evidence of the state's care, for two dredges were 
waving their wet arms just a few hundred yards below the 
lock and bringing up huge bucketfuls of the black and mushy 
sediment that had been pumped in from the river. When a 
barge was full a towline was thrown ashore and two mules, a 
boy riding the one behind, pulled the unspeakable cargo away. 
In the language of canal mariners, any two boats lashed to- 
gether make a "fleet," and even the mud-scows are given that 
resounding title when they travel more than one at a time. 

* * * 

West from the lock and hugging one another along the 
south shore are canalboats of all descriptions, some moldy 



Old Days on the Canal 55 

with age, some kept bright with paint and having potted 
flowers in the windows. One flatboat has a house built on it. 
Here dwells a large and happy family. The ancient captain 
who had been seen at the lock lives on one of his boats, and 
there were several where women could be seen through the 
cabin windows, busily setting the table for the noon-day meal. 
The cloth was white and the butter yellow, so that one rather 
envied them this continual camping-out kind of life. 

* * * 

Just across from the "levee" a pug-nosed boat lay at rest 
and two men were lazily scrubbing her deck. The sunshine 
was bright and warm and the dull old row of houses seemed 
to sleep in the genial warmth. All the open ground was sprin- 
kled with yellow dandelions. Far to the left stood a brick 
building, once the home of the lock-keeper when he was a man 
of importance. The trees around the old house had filled out 
with light-green leaves. This scene was almost rural in its 
suggestion of modest quietude. 

Then a tug came around the point to the east, lashing the 
water into suds and shrieking like a crazy thing. 



With the Market-Gardeners 

jk LL afternoon the Gruber family had been gathering the 
A-\ garden truck and washing it. 
±> JL There was a bushel of spinach pulled from a patch 
that had simply leaped out of the ground under the influence 
of a heavy rain followed by two days of sunshine. As for the 
young onions, they were so white below and so rich in color 
above that they were as handsome as bouquets after being 
tied into bunches and packed away into crates. The rhubarb 
stalks came in bigger bunches. A bushel basket was filled with 
lettuce. There were also some horse-radish roots. 

When the feed-bag had been filled the wagon was ready to 
go, but it was then only 6 o'clock in the evening, not a season- 
able hour for starting to market. Mr. Gruber and the oldest 
boy, Herman, went to bed at once. They needed no alarm- 



56 Chicago Stories 

clock to arouse them at midnight, as Mrs. Gruber claimed to 
have the extraordinary power of awakening herself at any 
hour of the night, if she would only make a strong determina- 
tion just before retiring. 

The Gruber family "worked" a ten-acre truck farm near 
Jefferson. It was a part of the great vegetable fringe lying in- 
side the city limits. The Gruber cottage was on the continua- 
tion of a city street and it probably had a number somewhere 
up in the thousands, but no one had ever been able to calculate 
what it was. This family combined the tax-paying privileges 
of city life with all the charm and freedom of a residence in 
the country. They could see very little of the town, but they 
had the satisfaction of knowing they were a part of it. 

* * * 

At 12 o'clock, almost to the minute, Mrs. Gruber rapped 
on the door of Herman's room. Five minutes later a man car- 
rying a lantern came out of the kitchen door and started to 
the small shed known as the stable. The son lagged behind a 
little, but he was in time to assist in hitching up. Before they 
started they ate a bite in the kitchen and drank some of the 
steaming coffee hastily prepared by Mrs. Gruber. Then they 
climbed into the front seat and the wagon creaked away into 
the darkness. 

It was a long drive, but one that was never dull. The cool 
night breezes made the men wonderfully wide-awake and 
they had that adventurous feeling of one who travels deserted 
thoroughfares and knows that the darkened houses are full of 
sleeping people. At first they passed small farms and open 
stretches of prairie, then a few straggling suburbs, and finally 
they came into a closely built street with a half-filled night 
car bowling slowly along it. The street lamps were not so far 
apart and there were occasional restaurants, wide open and 
brilliantly lighted, and any number of open drinking places, 
with curtains drawn half way up, as a mild compromise with 
the law. The horses jogged through residence districts and at 
last turned into one of the thoroughfares that never sleeps, 
one of those streets where vice and commerce begin one day 
before another is ended. Other wagons had fallen in ahead 
and behind. It was a short procession that turned into Hay- 



With the <J)(Carket -gardeners §j 

market Square, which was already noisy and busy in its prep- 
aration for another day of traffic. 

* * * 

Some of the wagons holding the more favored positions next 
to Desplaines Street had been backed in as early as 8 o'clock 
on the previous evening. Those coming a little later had taken 
the next best stands so that when the Grubers arrived at 
about 2 o'clock the rows of wagons were forming to the west 
and they had to take the best location they could get, which 
was in a row next the pavement on the north side of the square 
and near Union Street. It must be known that Haymarket 
Square is a broadening of Randolph Street and extends from 
Desplaines Street to Halsted Street. Two parallel street-car 
lines slice it down the center. At the east end the car lines 
spread from each other and encircle a small inclosure within 
which is a pedestal. On top of the pedestal is a policeman 
made of stone. He stands with one hand uplifted and in the 
name of the state of Illinois he "commands peace" of the 
honest German gardeners who lounge in their wagons below. 
About 200 feet to the north, where an alley opens into Des- 
plaines Street, the first dynamite bomb ever thrown in the 
United States did its destructive work. That was May 4, 1 886. 
The Desplaines Street riot passed into history as the Hay- 
market riot, and the vegetable mart was given a bloodthirsty 
notoriety which it does not at all deserve. 

* * * 

The first marketers came soon after daybreak, some with 
baskets and some with grocery wagons, to get the pick of the 
produce. Then came the commission-house wagons, which 
lined up close to the sidewalk, with some of the teams swung 
sidewise to economize space. From one end of the square to 
the other three narrow passageways are left open. The one in 
the middle permits the passage of cars, which run a gantlet of 
horses for two long blocks. The perspective of two rows of 
horses standing in military lines facing the car tracks, the 
animals almost nose to nose the entire distance, is something 
very nearly spectacular. In all the jumble at either side there 
is one cleared road large enough to allow the passage of a 
wagon, and this holds a moving line of trucks and delivery 
wagons the whole day. 



58 Chicago Stories 

Perhaps at 8 o'clock the big market has its largest business. 
Within two hours after that many of the wagons are sold out 
and have begun to push their way through the scramble in an 

effort to escape. 

* * * 

Who are the truck farmers ? Germans almost to a man, or 
woman, either, for that matter, for there are plenty of women 
who are independent producers and plenty of others who ride 
in on the wagons. 

What do they sell? Every fruit or vegetable that grows in 
this climate, but in early May principally lettuce, radishes, 
spinach, onions, horseradish and the like. They sun them- 
selves in the wagons until sold out, or, if trade drags and 
darkness is coming, they close a profitless bargain with one of 
the dealers along the street. Between them and the dealers 
the big western and northwestern sections of town are sup- 
plied with green stuff. 

Haymarket Square is almost strictly vegetarian. There are 
no such displays of fish, wild game and poultry as will be 
found in South Water Street. Strewn before the open fronts 
and kept cool beneath the wide awning with its festoons of 
garlic are berries, potatoes, oranges, asparagus, radishes and 
cucumbers. The square is in possession of the fruit and pro- 
duce dealers. There are a few stores and some saloons that 
came into notice during the anarchist excitement, when it was 
believed that many of the half-crazed conspirators lived in 
and about the square. The policemen who know the neighbor- 
hood say the old crowd of agitators who were associated with 
the men hanged in the county jail do not frequent the Hay- 
market saloons. These places depend on the teamsters and 
truck farmers. There is sand on the floor. Eight kinds of dark 
free lunch in bowls are on a table and the beer is served in 
large glasses known as "tubs." 

Mr. Gruber and Herman had sold everything except the 
horseradish when the whistles over toward the river began 
tooting the noon hour. 

"Horseradish is just as good one time as another," said Mr. 
Gruber as he put it back into the bucket and tucked the cloth 
around it. He and Herman had a lunch in a barroom restau- 



With the ^hCarket-Qardeners 



59 



41. 



— il. 



II f) 
r ii 



rnry 



n n ■ rrr i 








"one cleared road holds a moving line of delivery wagons'* 



rant, spring onions and cheese being the principal courses. 
There was some buying to be done, but at I o'clock they were 
homeward bound. When they reached the quiet streets Her- 
man was leaning heavily against his father and had passed 
into honest sleep, the result of fatigue and onions. A little 
farther on Mr. Gruber discovered, when the tongue jammed 
into a flour wagon ahead, that he, too, had been dozing. They 
always went home drowsy, and they were no exceptions to the 



60 Chicago Stories 

rule, for out at suburban crossings one may often see, in the 
course of an afternoon, a dozen truck wagons with the driver 
of each nodding on his seat and allowing the lines to hang loose. 



Fair-Minded Discussion 
in Dearborn Avenue 

THIS thing of living in families is not calculated to 
brush up the intellect. 
In families opinions range altogether too much in 
the same direction. The head of the family advances an opin- 
ion which is at once sanctioned by the other members, and 
should the solitary outsider choose to contradict this opinion 
he is almost smothered in the scrimmage. 

Now, in a boarding-house it is different. 

In the Dearborn Avenue boarding house it is notably 
different. 

There never was a proposition, of any character whatso- 
ever, that would receive the unanimous indorsement of the 
breakfast circle. 

This was illustrated one morning when the patriotic boarder 
happened to say something about the curse of slavery. At the 
other end of the table sat a seedy man who couldn't hold a 
job, even though he claimed a Virginian ancestry. He flared 
up at once and denied that slavery was a "cuhse." With that 
the two of them figuratively "clinched" and fought it out, 
their debate covering the first slave-trade, the Missouri com- 
promise, the Dred Scott decision, the emancipation proclama- 
tion, the fifteenth amendment and the civil rights bill. Of 
course the opinion of each remained unchanged, but the mere 
fact that such a question "Was Slavery Wrong?" should be 
debated with acrimonious vigor proves that truth was un- 
trammeled in this Dearborn Avenue nest of intellectuality. 
Not a doubt of it. 

Conditions always favored trouble. The boarders repre- 
sented in their nativity half a dozen different states. Religious 



Fair-Minded T)iscussion in T>earborn ^Avenue 6 1 

opinions ranged from ardent methodism to outspoken athe- 
ism. On the subject of alcoholic liquors, the women were a 
unit for teetotalism, while some of the men put their liberal 
views into practical demonstration and the morning afterward 
frankly told of their depravity. 

* * * 

One of the interesting characters was the patriot. He con- 
tinually made references to the "flag" and to "our institu- 
tions." In his lapel was a red, white and blue button, which 
was generally supposed to be the insignia of some mysterious 
oath-bound organization. This man was trying to monopolize 
the love of country. He didn't want any one else to love it as 
he did. When he got a chance at the piano he would sing, "My 
Country, 'Tis of Thee," and "The Star-Spangled Banner." 
At times he would give weird "tips" about impending con- 
spiracies to blow up all the little red schoolhouses and butcher 
the children. This excess of circus-day patriotism, coupled 
with the fact that he wore his hair pompadour, made the 
other boarders rather suspicious. 

The baseball young man persisted in reading extracts at 
the breakfast table. He kept posted on averages and individual 
records and could tell how many base hits were made by 
Anson in 1883. 

Next to him sat the elderly bachelor who had given up all 
hope of everything. It was difficult for him to acknowledge 
that any action was the result of an honorable motive. He 
had gloomy suspicions regarding the female sex. One of his 
particular boasts was that he had not voted for ten years. He 
evidently regarded this as a great accomplishment, as he 
spoke of it often. 

"I don't vote at all any more," he would say, as though he 
were the injured person. 

The man who was depended upon to defend the democratic 
party had lately weakened in his faith, although when the 
taunts of the two women republicans became unbearable he 
was still combative. The women were sisters and one was a 
widow. 

There was one man who remained as neutral and indifferent 
as the landlady herself. She stood aloof from discussions for 



62 



Chicago Stories 




UNBIASED AND LUMINOUS VIEWS ON MATTERS OF CURRENT INTEREST 



obvious business reasons; but he really didn't care about sil- 
ver, prizefighting, predestination or anything else outside of 
the wholesale grocery trade. When appealed to he would 
simply said, "Well, what's the difference?" or "I suppose you 
are both right." 

The foregoing were the regulars at the places. When the 
ten chairs were filled the extra places were taken by such 
transients as the man with the Virginian ancestry. 

One morning the endless debate turned upon the subject of 
the political situation. 



Fair-Minded Discussion in Dearborn ^Avenue 6 3 

"I see these Coxeyites are still marching around the coun- 
try," said the grumpy old man. "They ought to call out the 
militia and kill every one of 'em." 

"No, no," said the patriot. "As long as they abide by our 
institutions and carry the American flag they have a right to 
march. But the people ought to refuse them food, and then 
they'd starve and have to disband." 

"You two fellows have got hearts too big for your bodies," 
remarked the ball crank. "I think these armies are all right. 
I see they're playing baseball." 

"Yes, they'll do anything but work." This from the sour 
bachelor. "Why should we support them?" 

"How many did you ever support?" This from the ball 
crank, who did not lift his eyes from the paper. 

"Well, in a time like this these men become a burden on all 
of us. I'm glad I didn't vote to put into power an administra- 
tion that brings such a condition." 

"I should say so," remarked the republican sisters. 

"It's my opinion that you don't vote for fear your candi- 
date will be elected, and then you won't have a right to kick 
at him," said the democrat. 

"I refrain from voting because one party is as bad as 
another." 

"Oh-h-h!" said the sisters, in evident disapproval. 

"I'm against this administration because it doesn't stand 
up for the flag," said the red, white and blue boarder. "It 
hasn't treated the veterans right." 

"Bah!" remarked the grumpy man. 

"Well, it hasn't," interrupted the widow. "Now I was read- 
ing in one of Mr. McKinley's speeches " 

"McKinley!" snapped the grumpy man. "A creature of 
corporations; a man traveling on his looks. Why, he's been 
making that speech for ten years." 

"I should say so," added the democrat. "If he's elected 
president he'll stand on the front steps of the White House and 
have a man throw a calcium light on him. He's the profes- 
sional beauty of his party." 

"I don't care what you say," retorted the widow. "I think 
he's just as nice as he can be." 



64 Chicago Stories 

"He looks like a good man," said the widow's sister. 

"One thing in his favor" — this from the patriot — "is that 
he seems devoted to our institutions. I believe he has a real 
affection for the flag." 

"He has an affection for anything that will give votes," 
bluntly put in the cynic. "He's like all other politicians." 

"I disagree with you there," said the lukewarm democrat. 
"Of course I don't like the way Cleveland has acted here 
lately, but you must admit that he does as he pleases, no 
matter whether it pleases people or not." 

"I think he's horrid," this very timidly from the republican 
sister. 

And the widow backed her up: "If he was so infatuated 
with that black queen, why didn't he elope with her?" 

The landlady repressed a simpering laugh and the disagree- 
able bachelor seemed annoyed that some one else had bor- 
rowed his style of argument. 

* * * 

"Anse ought to go on first himself," interrupted the ball 
crank who had not been hearing the controversy. "He could 
brace up the team." 

"Yes, I guess he can play pretty good ball," put in the in- 
different man. This was the first time he had spoken, but he 
was evidently anxious to change the subject, even to baseball. 

"I'm in favor of any candidate who is loyal to home inter- 
ests," thoughtfully remarked the lover of the old flag. 

"That's right, that's right." (A scornful interjection from 
the cynic.) "Unless the foreign-born citizen takes out a per- 
mit and wears an eagle in his hat, don't let him breathe with- 
out a permit. I suppose you are opposed to buying anything 
abroad if you can get it at home for two prices." 

"Oh, now you're talking sense," triumphantly exclaimed 
the free-trade democrat. "You're an anti-protectionist. You're 
one of us." 

"I'm not one of you," was the indignant reply. "You're 
just as bad as the other fellows. You don't know your own 
minds. Here you have been tinkering with the tariff for 
months. What have you done? Nothing." 

"I don't know about that. You take sugar " 



Fair-Minded Discussion in Dearborn zAvenue 6 5 

That was where they entered the fog. The indifferent man 
and the ball crank escaped with the transients, and within 
two minutes only the democrat, the patriot and the elderly 
bachelor were left floundering in the tariff mire. 

* * * 

This morning was only one instance. 

For clear, unbiased and luminous views on topics of cur- 
rent interest there never was such a place as the Dearborn 
Avenue boarding house. 



Little Billy as a Committeeman 

IT WAS a great day for "Little Billy" when, as a member 
of the arbitration committee of the Longshoremen's 
union, he went forth to represent the cause of labor. 
For a man who works along the docks and who has known 
the tyranny of a mate on a Mississippi steamer, it is a strange 
experience to be lifted to sudden eminence and given large 
responsibilities. The longshoremen drew no lines on color and 
nationality. "Little Billy," as black as ebony, was a brother 
so long as he stood for union wages and the rights of the men. 
And he was just beginning to find out that he was a man. Two 
years before he had roustabouted on a Mississippi steamer 
for starvation pay. Finally he concluded it would be better to 
work in a freight house than carry barrels up-hill, so in com- 
pany with other adventurous spirits he struck out for Chicago 
and big pay. 

It was big pay compared with what he had been receiving, 
but, like every other dissatisfied man who finds that he is sup- 
ported by numbers and organization, "Little Billy" fell in 
with the movement for higher wages. He wanted 25 cents an 
hour because all the other men wanted it and because he had 
become convinced that his work was worth that much. In the 
strike of 1893 he took part merely as a private in the ranks. 
He was one of the strikers that chased a transportation agent 
one night. This agent professed great contempt for the roughly 
dressed men who unloaded the vessels, and when the strike 



66 Chicago Stories 

was declared he purchased two large revolvers and sent word 
to the strikers that they must not come around his premises. 
They came one evening, however, to argue with the non-union 
men and he advanced upon them with both "guns" drawn. 
The strikers, instead of being terrified, charged upon him, 
whereupon he threw away his weapons, in order to lighten 
himself, and ran for his life. They chased him around a freight 
house and over the railroad tracks. He would have been cap- 
tured had he not in his desperation jumped into the Chicago 
River. When he jumped the strikers became frightened and 
proceeded to scatter. The agent was rescued by a policeman. 
This episode was considered a victory for the strikers, and 
"Little Billy" was especially gratified, as it was the first time 
he had ever chased a white man. A few days later the men 
were given the wages they asked. It was a complete victory, 
and "Little Billy" from that time was a more rampant union 

man than ever before. 

* * * 

The longshoremen of Chicago lead a life different from that 
of any other workmen. Even in the busy season their work 
comes in odd jobs and in the winter they are necessarily idle. 
Time is money with a big iron steamer. When she comes to 
the dock she must be unloaded as rapidly as possible. The 
new cargo is hurried aboard and she is sent away. The long- 
shoremen after ten days of idleness may suddenly be called 
upon to work eighteen hours or more at a stretch, the "shifts" 
changing until the vessel is unloaded and then reloaded. They 
must be strong and willing. It is downright hard labor, "break- 
ing up" a cargo of barrels or big boxes and wheeling it into 
the freight house. The colored men are the only ones who find 
any comfort in it, for they sing at their work. 

Although the men have an organization each summer, it 
always goes to pieces in the fall, for then the river "gangs" 
are dispersed. The married men find other employment and 
large numbers of the homeless ones find refuge during the win- 
ter in the hotels and lodging houses along the river. Even if 
they have no money they can find shelter, and the landlord 
will collect his pay after navigation opens. There are about 
1,700 men who find employment along the docks in season, 



Little "Bi/Iy as a Committeeman 



6 7 



but it is a changing and floating population. When President 
Howard of the union began his organization in the spring of 
1894, he found new men in large numbers. At the first meet- 
ing in the hall in Randolph Street over fifty men were present. 
He made a speech pointing out the necessity of organization, 
and asked the men to step up and sign their names. A short 
Irishman in a suit of blue overalls was suspicious. He declared 
that he would sign no papers until the men were organized. 




/#®W 



68 Chicago Stories 

"How can we organize unless we get your names?" asked 
the president. 

"I'll nawt sign me name." 

"No, sah, 'n I doan' guess I will," added a colored man as 
he moved toward the door. 

The president jumped to the door and put his back against 
it. "Nobody gets out o' here till he signs. You fellows sign 
that paper, and be quick about it." 

By such endeavors was the union built up, and when the 
transportation lines proposed to change the wages from 25 
cents an hour to 17 cents a ton the union revolted, and over 
600 men went on a strike. 

The men said they could make money unloading pig-iron 
at 17 cents a ton, but when it came to mattresses or any light 
merchandise they would starve to death. They stood out for 
the old scale of 25 cents an hour. Daily meetings were held at 
the hall. Missionaries were sent among the unconverted. 

It was a stubborn strike. The longshoremen are good 
fighters. 

"Little Billy" was in the forefront, rather hoping that there 
would be trouble. He was in favor of marching along the docks 
and wiping out every non-union man, but the others held him 
in check. This blocky young colored man with the gingham 
shirt and slouch hat made a speech or two at the meetings and 
was becoming so prominent that he couldn't be overlooked. 
That is how it happened he was appointed on the committee 
of twelve which was to call on the agents of the different lines 
and talk over the situation. He was the only colored citizen on 
the committee. There were two Irishmen, a Swede, a German 
and a few native-born longshoremen, and they wore their un- 
loading clothes, but nevertheless they were a committee de- 
termined to meet the agents on equal grounds. 



"Little Billy" knew that one of the lines had brought long- 
shoremen from Buffalo, but he did not know that forty of these 
imported men had fighting records and had been put in the 
freight house to lie in wait for strikers. They pretended to do 
some work, but they all wanted to fight, and if there could 



Little Hilly as a Committeeman 69 

have been any choice of victims they probably would have 
selected a colored man — a small one. 

Around at the office in one corner of the freight house the 
committee was given an audience with the agent, but "Little 
Billy," the man of action, the dusky Napoleon of the long- 
shoremen, said: "No; you'ns go an' talk wif 'im. I'se got to 
see some o' these hyuh men." 

So he walked right out into the freight house and watched 
the line of half-dressed men wheeling in the heavy casks. And 
all the time the knowledge throbbed within him that they 
were common laborers while he was a committeeman. 

"Look hyuh," he said to a hairy man, whose red-flannel 
shirt was rolled open in front. "Whah doan' yo' boys come 
and jine d' union 'stead o' bein' a lot o' scabs?" 

"Sa-a-ay," asked the man with a glad gleam in his sound 
eye, "are you one o' them strikers?" 

"Yes, suh, an' you'ns had bettah stop this heah " 

That was as much as "Little Billy" could say. Two of the 
big kind were on top of him. They threw him back against a 
tier of barrels, and one kicked at him. They dragged him out 
and hammered at his head, which he was trying to duck under 
his shoulder. They threw him down and dragged him across 
the floor and gave him a clear throw-out into the street. 

* * * 

The meeting was still in progress half an hour later when 
something with bandages on it and smelling strongly of arnica 
came up the middle aisle and stood before the chairman. It 
waved the arm that wasn't crippled and said: "Heah I am." 

"Why, it's 'Little Billy,'" exclaimed the chairman. 

"Yes, suh, an' I been to dem Transit docks." 

"Billy, didn't I tell you not to pick quarrels?" 

"No, suh; I didn't pick no qua'el. You doan' have to. Jes' 
show yo'se'f an' yo' get it. I'se resigned." 

"Why so?" 

"You'se got to get heavy men for dis committee. Dis boy's 
too small fo' de work." 



At the Green Tree Inn 



JUST suppose that one of the army officers who lounged 
around the taverns at the river fork away back in the 
'30s should be set down on the Lake Street bridge today. 

Would he recognize Wolf Point? 

Would he know that the black dock, with its crowded build- 
ings, swinging derricks and heaps of block stone had once been 
the wooded promontory where stood the Wolf Tavern? 

Could he pick out, on the west shore of the north branch, 
the exact spot where Samuel Miller built his cabin and opened 
it as a public house? 

Would the bridge policeman be able to tell him where the 
Sauganash Hotel had stood? 

Probably not, although the Sauganash Hotel was in its day 
a greater wonder than the Auditorium. 

Would the soldier, returned from Fort Dearborn, find 
anything to recall the days when Chicago was a straggling 

hamlet? 

* * * 

If he looked for the Green Tree Inn he would find a tall 
building of red brick with "Railway Supplies" across the front 
of it. But if he were to stand on the corner and accost all the 
gray-headed men who passed he might find some one who 
would tell him that the Green Tree Inn had escaped the fires 
and improvements of sixty years and was still standing as a 
lonesome relic of the great old pioneer days. Then, after he 
had got his bearings, he would find the old tavern crowded in 
between other wooden houses in a thoroughfare leading to the 
northwest from where the old tavern had stood. He would 
find that it had been moved a few hundred feet from its origi- 
nal site and was beginning to show signs of decrepitude. He 
would find the same old roof, the same square-paned little 
windows and the clapboarded walls growing rusty in spite of 
repeated paintings. + ^ ^ 

The Green Tree Inn, which was built on the river bank at 
the northeast corner of North Canal and West Lake streets in 

70 



iAt the Qreen Tree Inn 



7 1 



1833, is now at 33, 35 and 37 Milwaukee Avenue. It would 
have no claim to distinction were it not the oldest building 
in Chicago. The histories have casually mentioned this fact 
and it is a matter of vivid knowledge to the older settlers, 
but of the hundreds of persons who pass it daily very few 
know its history. 

The authorities are prone to disagree on the incidents of 
early Chicago history, but there is a mutual agreement that 
the Green Tree Inn was built by James Kinzie in 1833, and 




yfafrMf* 



THE OLD GREEN TREE INN 



received its name from a solitary oak tree which stood near 
the building. One historian asserts that David Hall, half- 
brother to James Kinzie} was a partner in the building. In the 
summer of that year Silas B. Cobb, a builder, then less than 
21 years old, came to Chicago and assisted in constructing 
the Green Tree Inn. Mr. Cobb is still living and has an office 
in Dearborn Street. Only a few weeks ago the veteran architect 
visited the old building, went up into the loft and tapped the 
hickory rafters. He said the structure was good for many more 

years of hard service. 

* * * 

The old frame house has often changed its name. First 
opened as an inn by David Clock, it was soon sold to Edward 



J2 Chicago Stories 

Parsons, who called it the Chicago Hotel. In 1848 it became 
known as the Noyes Hotel, and in 1849 the name was again 
changed to the Railroad House. In 1851 it was the Atlantic 
Hotel, in 1854 the West Lake Street House, and in 1859, when 
it was cheapened into a lodging house with a saloon down- 
stairs, it lost the dignity of a name. It changed hands again, 
and at the time of the fire was the property of an Englishman, 
whose widow still occupies part of the first story. She owns 
the building and is proud of it, not because it is so old, but 
because she helped pay for it and has made it a source of 

small revenue. 

* * * 

She is a little woman, with a black cap and a pair of steel 
spectacles and a black shawl about her shoulders. She says 
her memory is failing her, but she remembers distinctly how 
she became matron of the establishment. 

"My sister said to me that the man at the Lake Street Tav- 
ern wanted a house-keeper, because his wife was dead. I went 
there on a Friday and went to work. I shan't ever forget it. 
That night I said to him that I must go and see my sister in 
Green Street and he asked if he could go along. I said, 'I s'pose 
you can if you want to.' So he went along. My sister was mak- 
ing over a dress for me. It was a lovely thing, violet silk. We 
went in and my sister said to him, 'Sarah was married in this 
dress once.' He spoke up and said, 'She's been married once 
and I've been married once; now why shouldn't she be mar- 
ried in it again?' Well, we laughed of course. I was 52 years 
old then. On a Saturday the dress was finished and on. Sunday 
we were married. I don't regret it either, though he did spend 
lots of money and left me to pay for the house. I've stuck to 
the old place ever since. I came with it when they moved it 
from the old corner. Three times I've saved it from burning, 
and I'll tell you it's a good old house now." 



It was in 1880 that the house was moved from the corner of 
West Lake and Canal streets to find company with other old 
and squatty frame structures at the entrance to Milwaukee 
Avenue. There it stands to-day among the junk stores, one- 



zAt the Qreen Tree Inn 



73 



story saloons and blacksmith-shops, and it still attempts to 
preserve a battered dignity. At 3 3 lives Mrs. Sarah Barrington, 
the owner, the housekeeper who married the landlord. She 
has the curtains drawn and the door chained. The visitor must 
pull vigorously at the bell-knob and she will inspect him 
through an inch or two of opened door before admitting him. 
She has one big room and a little kitchen. A portrait of the 
duke of Wellington hangs over her arm-chair. The furniture 
has been in the room for 
twenty years. Sometimes 
there are visitors to see 
the old house. Mrs. Bar- 
rington has their cards 
neatly tied together with 
black thread. She also has 
thirteen prints which she 
bought at the internation- 
al exhibition in London 
in 1862. One shows the 
Crystal Palace, another 
Westminster Abbey, a 
third Trafalgar Square, 
and so on. She can show 
just where she stood at 
each place and she affirms 
that by means of a tele- 
scope she once read the 
time on the big clock of 
the parliament tower, and 
it was just fourteen min- 
utes of 2 o'clock. On these 
matters she is positive, but she is not so full of recollections 
regarding the Green Tree Inn. She can only tell that the 
cigar store in the middle has been paying rent for seventeen 
years, and that there has been a saloon in the other end ever 
since she can remember. 

When she was suddenly promoted from housekeeper to 
proprietress the up-stairs had beds for lodgers, and it has been 
a lodging house ever since. 




A VIEW FROM THE BACK YARD 



74 Chicago Stories 

The sign at the foot of the stairs now reads 



OLD LAKE STREET HOUSE 



In the saloon and cigar store, as well as in Mrs. Barrington's 
private apartments, the floor is hilly and the windows have 
warped to an angle, the ceilings are low, the wainscoting nar- 
row and the doorways cramped. Some new counters and 
shelves make a strange contrast with the old-fashioned out- 
lines of the room. A dormer window looks over the black 
shingles into the back yard and there are small square windows 
under the gables, but in its general aspect the oldest building 
in Chicago is not sufficiently picturesque to attract attention 
on its merits. The signs and awnings in front help to disguise 
it and there is no placard to tell the public of its historic im- 
portance. The Scandinavian who owns the saloon said it would 
do no good to advertise his place as the oldest in Chicago. He 
said his customers didn't care for such things. They would go 
where they could get the largest glass of beer. 

Mrs. Barrington didn't believe there was much interest in 
the old tavern, as the visitors came about a year apart. She 
only hoped she could sell the place for enough money to take 
her back to England and keep her there. She wanted to see 
the Nelson monument again, and although she got Nelson 
mixed up with the battle of Waterloo, she meant well. 



The Advantage of Being 
"Middle Class" 

WHY IS IT that the middle class has a monopoly of 
the real enjoyment in Chicago? The term "middle 
class" is used in the English sense. 

Theoretically, at least, there are no classes in Chicago. But 
the "middle class" means all those persons who are respectably 
in the background, who work either with hand or brain, who 
are neither poverty-stricken nor offensively rich, and who are 
not held down by the arbitrary laws governing that myste- 
rious part of the community known as society. 

The middle class people wouldn't scourge a man simply be- 
cause he wore a morning coat in the afternoon. Again, if his 
private life were redolent of scandals they would not tolerate 
him as a companion, no matter how often he changed his 
clothes. 

It is quite a privilege to belong to the middle class, espe- 
cially during the warm weather in June. A middle-class family 
may sit on the front stoop all evening and watch the society 
people go to the weddings in their closed carriages. Father 
doesn't have to wear a 
tight dress coat all eve- 
ning and have a collar 
choking him. He may take 
off coat or vest, or both, 
and smoke either pipe or 
cigar without scandalizing 
any one. If he and mother 
wish to get some ice-cream 
they go around the corner 
to get it, or else they may 
send one of the children 
with a pitcher. If they were 
above the middle class, of 
course, it would never do 
for them to be seen in a 




/W 



READY FOR THE LAKE TRIP 



75 



7 6 



Chicago Stories 



common ice-cream place, and the idea of sending a pitcher 
would be shocking. 

At the Clark Street bridge a double-decked steamer, with 
electric lights and a resounding orchestra, was preparing to 
start on its nightly trip, so far out on the broad, cool lake that 
the town would be only a long fringe of intermingling lights. 

The passengers were 
lL ^ streaming aboard — young 
workingmen and their 
tittering girls, clerks in 
new straw hats and un- 
mistakably summer 
clothes, tired husbands 
and smiling wives. 

They were ranging them- 
selves about on the upper 
deck, placing their chairs 
so that they could have 
something to lean against. 
The orchestra had bound- 
ed into a popular air, and 
the bass horn was repeat- 
ing over and over: 

Pum, pum, pum-pum- 
pum. 

One impatient couple 
had begun to waltz. A hun- 
dred or more persons, gath- 
ered on the bridge and the approach, looked on with silent 
envy, feeling like the plowboy who stands at the rail fence 
and sees the rest of the family start for the county fair. Some 
of them could not resist the temptation to go down the plat- 
form and aboard. 

All the passengers belonged to the fortunate "middle class." 
Society, you must understand, could not patronize cheap ex- 
cursions on the lake. Therefore "the upper class," except for 
the small portion that can afford private yachts, never enjoys 
a breezy moonlight ride on a steamer, and Lake Michigan, 




A HOT EVENING 
IN DEARBORN AVENUE 



The ^Advantage of "Being " ^Middle Class" yy 



except for its commercial 

uses, might as well be a 

thousand miles to the east. 

* * * 

There were many^ pic- 
tures of contentment 
along the boarding-house 
belt of Dearborn Avenue. 
The slopeof stairway lead- 
ing up to each house had 
become an amphitheater 
where men and women in 
lightest and cheeriest of 
summer attire were lis- 
tening to the concerts of 
the street musicians. In 
front of one large house 
an Italian, with a street 
piano on wheels, was 
grinding out "Trovatore" 
for the benefit of a family 
which cuts a wide social 
swath. The Italian was 
rather to be pitied. He 

did not know that the family was debarred from coming out 
on the front porch to hear his music. The family was sup- 
posed to close its ears against all street pianos. Although the 
rooms were lighted, no one came to the windows and the 
music was wasted upon some appreciative children who 
marched and danced, keeping time with it. 

Suppose the members of a well-known family should be 
grouped on a front porch listening to a street orchestra, and 
that just as the collection was being taken up some one who 
knew them should pass by! 

* * * 

Dearborn Avenue leads to the lights and shadows and cool 
depths of Lincoln Park. First there is a broad, smooth road- 
way, which shows boldly in the electric glare, and then there 
is a deeply shaded drive between solid walls of trees. It widens 




(W 



LIGHTS AND SHADOWS AND 
COOL DEPTHS OF LINCOLN PARK 1 



J 8 Chicago Stories 

and brings into dim outline a dark statue with a massive ped- 
estal. Each wheelman coursing the drives is marked by a speck 
of lantern, and the illusion is that of racing fireflies. No car- 
riages disturb the night with a clatter of hoofs. Under the 
trees, right and left, the shade is so deep that sometimes voices 
may be heard where no one can be seen. Only a few feet away 
a flood of light shows every blade of grass and every pebble. 
All roads into the park lead to some circling pathway which 
is laced with the black shadows of trembling leaves, while 
misshapen blotches of the blending light fall on the figures 
and the benches. 

There are at least two figures on a bench and one has a light 
dress. Both are silent and immovable until the intruder has 
passed on. The girl, who can be seen only in small pieces here 
and there where the patches of light have fallen, is always 
handsome, just as a half-finished picture is always sure to be 
beautiful in its fancied completion. Out in the clearing pos- 
sibly it would be different. 

* * * 

Two young men had wandered into the park and had sought 
the paths less beaten, where the grass is rank and the breeze 
has a woody flavor pleasant to the nostrils. Neither could sing, 
but both of them did sing about "nights in June" and "lovely 
maidens," and they even went so far as to talk about the effect 
of moonlight on a distant ridge of trees. 

Coming back to earth, they saw that the man on a bench 
ahead undoubtedly had his arm around the woman. As they 
drew nearer it became a shocking fact. The woman had pil- 
lowed her head on the man's shoulder and was either asleep 
or contented. The young men laughed and made remarks 
which were loud enough to be overheard, but the man was 
complacent. 

"He has nerve," remarked one. "I suppose he doesn't care." 

"She doesn't care, either." 

Then they passed close by the bench and saw, cuddled up 
against the woman, a tousle-haired little girl fast asleep, with 
a doll in her arms. After which they passed on very quietly, 
and one of them said: "We ought to go back and apologize 
to that man." 



The ^Advantage ofHeing Ci ' <JXtiddle Class" 79 

In Lincoln Park a wide avenue for pedestrians leads straight 
north to the small lake. The pavilion, with its swinging lamps, 
lies directly ahead, and these lamps throw bands of fiery re- 
flection across the water, so that from a distance the pavilion 
seems mounted upon flaming piles which glow and burn even 
under the rippling waves. Against these glaring pillars the 
small, darting boats appear in distinct silhouette, but away 
from the lights and with banks of heavy vegetation as a back- 
ground they become a ghostly gray. The guitars and voices 
always sound more sweetly across the water, while the splash- 
ing and the laughter have the happy effect of turning thoughts 
away from hot weather. 

On the shores of these lakes, which are linked by quiet 
waters lying under stone arches, the young man who drives 
the delivery wagon sits of an evening and holds the hand of 
the young woman who addresses letters. They are very happy, 
as well they may be, for no Chicago millionaire has such a 
magnificent front yard, with such a large lake and so many 
stately trees around it. They must feel sorry for the millionaire, 
who cannot go to a public park in the evening to stroll or sit 
for the reason that so many other persons go there. It doesn't 
trouble the delivery boy to have other people present and 
enjoying themselves. 



The Junk-Shops of Canal Street 

SOME one has asked the question: "What becomes of all 
the pins?" 
The question has never been well answered, because 
there are no dealers in second-hand pins. 

What becomes of the empty bottles, the tin cans, the rags, 
the broken stove-lids and worn-out copper boilers ? They go 
to Canal Street, sooner or later. 

That which is rubbish in a backyard becomes merchandise 
in Canal Street and some lean-fingered speculator converts it 
into bright money. 

Canal Street is an object lesson in economy, a practical ser- 



8o 



Chicago Stories 



mon on the value of looking after the pennies. A 3-cent bottle 
is not worth saving, but 100 of these bottles gathered up by a 
shaggy gentleman carrying a gunny-sack pouch means a clear 
profit of $3, which sum counts very largely along Canal Street. 
The junk-shop region of Canal Street lies south from Taylor 
Street and is being slowly pushed still farther to the south by 
new brick buildings. For a block south from Van Buren Street 
the business front is most imposing, yet the site of these tall 
handsome buildings with their big windows and gilded signs 
was occupied only a few years ago by the same sort of totter- 
ing, aged and unpainted little structures which may still be 
found between 12th and 16th streets. Even in this backward 
region an occasional brick building is showing itself, making 
the contrast with its neighbors something painful. 

* * * 

In this second-hand strip and along the overcrowded streets 
leading off to the west reside many Russian Jews, new to 
American privileges, but half-recovered from the persecution 
which held them down for generations and compelled, by force 




ft/taw** 



"TOTTERING, AGED AND UNPAINTED LITTLE STRUCTURES 



The "Junk-Shops of Canal Street 8 i 

of circumstances, to exercise their commercial instincts in a 
modest way. If frugality and untiring industry count for any- 
thing this district will work out its own salvation. The second 
generation will do business in tall brick buildings like those up 
toward Van Buren Street. In the very heart of this populous 
settlement stands the magnificent Jewish manual training 
school, a voluntary contribution by the representative Jews 
of Chicago to the children of their less favored brethren. It 
combines the common-school features with the modern meth- 
ods of manual training for both boys and girls. Over 800 chil- 
dren attend regularly. 

* * * 

After passing 1 2th Streetone could well imagine himself out 
of Chicago. Every shop sign is painted in the angular charac- 
ters of the Hebrew alphabet, and even the play-bills in the 
windows are in Hebrew. The queer little cheap stores, the com- 
fortable manner in which whole families take possession of 
the sidewalk, the strange language of bargain and sale at the 
front of every grocery, and the heaps of faded merchandise 
exposed for sale, give to Junktown a character all its own. The 
bottle dealer, the rag dealer, the scrap-iron man, the grocer, 
the butcher, the cheap store man and the saloon-keeper are 
the business magnates. There are also basement shoe-shops 
and a few blacksmithing places, one of them having Jewish 
workmen, certainly a hopeful sign. One purpose of the train- 
ing school is to encourage the poorer Jews to adopt trades and 
learn to work with their hands rather than become street ped- 
dlers and small dealers in junk. 

* * * 

Canal Street and its western outlets swarm with children, 
most of them streaked from playing in the street and, in warm 
weather, lightly clad with not more than one garment. Happy 
children they are, most of them plump and healthy, in the 
bargain. They are always playing in the sun, for Canal Street 
is so wide and the houses are so low that there is seldom any 
shade. A bale of rags or a mound of scrap-iron is a famous 
playhouse, and there is always a prospect of hanging on be- 
hind some slow rag-wagon. The horses on Canal Street are too 
deliberate to run down any children. 



82 



Chicago Stories 



There are thousands of bottles packed in barrels and boxes, 
which lean against the dingy fronts. A nervous man who 
dreads contagion will surely hold his breath when he passes 
one of the rag warehouses. It is a musty and mothy odor that 
hangs around the ramshackle place, and one doesn't like to 




DECREPIT WAGONS ARE LINED UP BETWEEN THE HOUSES' 



stop and think where all of those soiled and tattered things 
came from. 

It seems that all the "played-out" and worthless odds and 
ends of the town have been dumped on Canal Street. The 
rusty scrap-iron lies around in tangled masses. Decrepit wag- 
ons are lined up between the houses. Burned-out boilers are 
strewn on the vacant lots. The crockery exposed for sale at 
the cheap stores is dusty and cracked, the suits of clothes are 
ready to fall to pieces from shoddiness. As for the vegetables, 



mmm^mm 



The "Junk-Shops of Canal Street 8 3 

they seem to keep away from Canal Street until they are 
withered and spotted and consequently cheap. 

* * * 

The buildings themselves do not stand erect on their foun- 
dations. At one corner saloon the bareheaded children go 
down-hill to get their buckets filled, as the venerable structure 
seems to have settled back on its haunches. The fences around 
the scrap-iron yards are propped up from outside. 

It is a terribly second-handed neighborhood, and it is no 
wonder that the eye longs for something new — a new coat of 
paint on a house, a new dress on a woman, a new "Rags 
Bought" sign. But everything is picturesquely dull and smoke 
stained. At every breath of wind the dust is gathered in clouds 
and blown into the stuffy little second-story bedrooms, from 
the windows of which the heads are always sticking out. 

* * * 

It may be found, upon investigation, that, considering what 
these poor people get in the way of home comforts, they pay 
more dearly than the families on a boulevard. 



A Breathing-Place and 
Play-Ground 

COMPARISONS between the three divisions of the 
city are always odious. 
One cannot rhapsodize too much over the advan- 
tages of the south side without rousing the wrath of the 
numerous west-siders, while the statement that either the 
south side or the west side affords a pleasanter location for a 
residence than the north side simply moves every north-sider 
to a broad smile of contempt. 

Each division has something to be proud of, and after hur- 
rying the visitor through a fringe of slums can show him cer- 
tain "views" intended to excite his admiration. On the west 
side it will be a view south on Ashland Avenue, a majestic 
thoroughfare which always seems ready to be put in a picture- 



8 4 



Chicago Stories 




A FOUNTAIN SPLASHES INTO A ROCKY BASIN 



book, or a glance at Union Park and the delightful panorama 
of Washington Boulevard. 

On the south side Michigan Avenue and the branching 
boulevards to the south, the flowery gateway to Washington 
Park and the imposing pile of buildings overshadowing the 
lake front will be submitted as about the best things that the 
town can show a stranger. 

The north side has Lincoln Park, the Lake Shore Drive and 
those exclusive residence thoroughfares, the "places" and 
"courts" running east to meet the lake. It also has Washington 
Square, and to many people this is the most picturesque bit in 
all the great division, because it is a green spot standing in a 
framework of noble architecture and bearing a certain dignity 
which comes only with age. 

Washington Square is bounded by Clark Street, Walton 
Place, Dearborn Avenue and Washington Place. At the west 
the bright-colored cable cars chase back and forth all day. On 
the east is the smooth, white boulevard, alive at every hour 



zA lire athing^Pl ace and T*! ay -ground 8 5 

with flying wheelmen and handsome carriages. Between these 
thoroughfares lies a patch of nature almost undisturbed. 
The two diagonal pathways meet in the center where a foun- 
tain splashes into a rocky basin. The trees are high and 
gnarled, throwing great irregular areas of shade on the ground. 

The landscape gardener has done but little for the square. 
It stands as nature decreed it and as the great fire mercifully 
spared it. 

This square was given to the city when Bushnell's addition 
to the city of Chicago was surveyed. It was offered as an at- 
traction to an outlying residence district. Now that the city 
has encompassed it and moved on miles beyond, it remains as 
a breathing-place and playground in a waste of buildings. 

It was donated at a time when ground was cheap and now 
its value is greater than all of the original addition. What is 
more, it can never fall victim to the greed of "improvement." 
It will be the poor man's country place and the children's 
romping ground for all time to come. 

* * * 

The fire of 1871 scorched to death nearly all the large trees 
on the north side. It happened, luckily, that there were few 
houses immediately west or southwest from the square. The 
Unity Church, of which the Rev. Robert Collyer was pastor, 
stood, as it now stands, at the corner of Dearborn Avenue and 
Walton Place. North from the square stood the Ogden house, 
one of the two houses in the burned district that escaped de- 
struction. It was sheltered by the trees. As soon as the fire 
crossed the river many people hurried north to Washington 
Square with such goods as they could convey and put them in 
the square, thinking they would be safe there. Later, when 
the fire rushed northward with such rapidity, these people 
were compelled to fly for their lives, leaving their property 
behind. It was soon ignited by flying sparks and burned up. 
In a few hours the scorched trees of the square and the Ogden 
house, which they had sheltered, stood alone in a desert of 

strewn ashes. 

* * * 

Just across Walton Place from the square is the Newberry 
Library, its massive stone front of Spanish renaissance rising 



86 



Chicago Stories 



even above the highest trees. Unity Church and the New Eng- 
land Congregational Church face the square on the east. Each 
has a broad Gothic front, which is beginning to show respect- 
able signs of age. Facing the square from the south and stand- 
ing at the corner of Dearborn Avenue is the Union club house, 
with its dark and heavy stone front. West of it is a row of 
tall, prim and freshly painted apartment houses. 

With the venerable 
trees and the prospect of 
fortress walls and ponder- 
ous stone doorways to 
north, south and east, 
Washington Square has a 
charm peculiarly its own. 
It is what one might 
expect to find in a city of 
a few centuries' growth, 
but in Chicago it is al- 
ways supposed that the 
trees are to be set out in 
straight rows and the 
houses are to smell of 
fresh plaster and have the 
litter of the builders scattered around the front doo*r. 

* * * 
This particular portion of the north side, especially from 
Dearborn Avenue to the lake, is said to have had a more stable 
population during the last twenty-five years than any other 
region in Chicago. The men whose homes were burned in the 
great fire rebuilt on the same sites and assisted in rebuilding 
the churches. The congregations remained almost intact, while 
those in other parts of the city had to be reorganized. The 
neighborhood, not being subject to violent changes, settled 
down to eminent respectability and fixed habits of life, and 
these seem to find expression in the shady old-fashioned square. 
In pleasant weather the square is crowded. The children 
come from a mile around to roll in the shade and dip their 
bare feet in the basin where the water falls. The nurse-maids 
wheel baby-carriages by day and the housemaids come with 




ITS MASSIVE FRONT 
RISING ABOVE THE TREES' 



*A ^Breathing-^Place and Tlay-Qround 8 7 

their young men at night. Men in working clothes sleep under 
the trees. Other men squat against the trees reading news- 
papers. The employe who picks up scraps of paper with a long 
sharp stick has to go around every hour or so. 

It is a meeting place of all classes. The boys hauling their 
brother in a soap-box mounted on two wheels march ahead of 
a lavender-canopied baby-carriage. The dressed-up children 
from Dearborn Avenue, who dare not take off their shoes, are 
the only unhappy youngsters ever seen in the square. They 
suffer for awhile and then disobey the parental orders, just as 
they might be expected to do. 



Vehicles Out of the Ordinary 

A NY one who keeps his eyes open can find a number of 
A-\ strange vehicles in Chicago, but he must go out into 
-*- -^- the districts where the people live, and not confine 
his observations to the down-town district. In the crowded 
business streets the trucks, delivery wagons and hansom cabs 
are about the only types to be seen. 

At a corner in the south- 
western part of the city 
the evangelist's wagon 
was drawn up alongside 
the board walk and a 
small crowd had collect- 
ed to listen to the music 
and read the inscriptions. 
The vehicle was some- 
thing like a fancy farm 
wagon with a canopy top 
to it, except that the side- 
boards were not so high. 
It was drawn by two 
horses, and the driver sat 
in a broad seat at the 
front. Behind him was 




THE ORGANIST 
:S IN THE PORTABLE CHURCH 



88 



Chicago Stories 




THE WAFFLE MAN 
WITH HIS SQUATTY WAGON' 



the organ, which was built as a part of the wagon, being joined 
to the floor and the sideboards. The scriptural quotations 
were painted on red cloth curtains concealing the back part 
of the wagon, where there were two or three chairs. When the 

curtains were removed 
and the canopy moved 
out of the way the back 
part of the wagon became 
a rostrum, or pulpit. 

The man at the organ 
played some introductory 
chords and sang a hymn 
in a robust voice loud 
enough for out-door use, 
and the evangelist made 
an exhortation. 

Then the driver clucked 

at his horses and said 

"Getep" and the portable 

church was driven to another corner and the services were 

repeated. 

r ^C 3)C 3|C 

On many of the less pretentious streets the waffle man with 
his squatty wagon is a familiar and welcome sight. His estab- 
lishment on wheels is drawn by a patient horse, who is always 
more willing to stop than he is to start. The wagon, which is 
of a dull red color, is mounted on low wheels. 

The waffle man does his own driving, for his gasoline stove 
is at the front of the wagon. His cooking utensils, batter, and 
the rest of the kitchen outfit are kept in shelves at the front, 
while at the back there is a flat counter where the customers 
may be served. Sometimes he rings a bell and again he will 
keep up a mournful, monotonous wail of " Wa-a-a-fles ; 
wa-a-a-fles." 

The waffle booth on the corner or the handcart of the 
"levee" district has been familiar for a long time, but the 
waffle wagon which supplies families is a thing of recent date. 

The old cobbler and his traveling shop are known on many 
of the streets in the northwestern section of the city. He has a 



"Vehicles Out of the Ordinary 



8 9 



covered wagon, which is fitted up inside with all that is needed 
in a repair shop. The driver, who is as old and grizzled as the 
cobbler, labors to keep the horse going, and shouts "Old Shoes 
to mend!" The venerable cobbler saves rent and gets plenty 
of work, for the children know him and wait for him, a dozen 
or more gathering around his queer vehicle to watch him put 
on the half soles. 



The sandwich wagon or "buffet car" is common enough, 
especially on the south side between Van Buren and 12th 
streets, and on the west along Halsted and Madison streets. 
There are a few along North Clark Street, and now and then 
one may be found even in the remote districts, especially 
around the parks or any resort where people congregate of an 
evening. It was the sandwich wagon that popularized the 
"ham and egg sandwich," an oily luxury which has been 
taken up by many of the restaurants. 

At first the wagons served only sandwiches, but with grow- 
ing competition they 
have introduced cold- 
meat lunches, baked 
beans, coffee, hot corn 
on the cob and other 
delicacies. If one is not 
troubled -with a false 
pride one can get a good 
warm lunch at low prices 
and stand on the curb- 
stone while he eats it. Oc- 
casionally there will be 
seen a buffet car with a 
little counter in the back 
end of it. At the counter 
are three stools, so that 
at least three customers 
may sit while they are 
being served. 

The average sandwich car to be found in State Street has 
numerous windows decorated with tempting advertisements. 




THE OLD COBBLER AND HIS SHOP 



9° 



Chicago Stories 



The oil or gasoline stove is banked about with loaves of bread, 
the carcasses of chickens and great knobs of ham. "Albert" or 
"Charley," or whatever may be the name on the illuminated 
sign, wears a white jacket and a white cap and takes a pro- 
fessional pride in turning a piece of ham without putting the 
fork to it. 

As a rule, each of these wagons has a "stand" where it re- 
mains from an early hour in the evening until the last cus- 
tomers go home, sometimes 



the break of day. The horse 
is not kept "hitched up" all 
night, but is in shelter near 
at hand, and when there are 
no more io-cent pieces in 
sight he and the "buffet car" 
disappear. 

* * * 
An intelligent Italian, 
whose "territory" covers the 
residence streets far up on 
the north side, owns a street 
piano. It is one of the large 
kind, mounted on a cart 
platform. Until quite lately 
he had to employ another Italian to go with him and help 
pull the thing. This was not always easy work, especially if 
the street happened to be rough or a trifle slippery. There- 
fore, to save himself labor and avoid paying an extra salary, 
he bought a small donkey, which now does all the hard work. 
This little animal soon became thoroughly acquainted with 
his duties. He stands perfectly still when commanded to do 
so, although the command is in Italian, a new language to 
him. His head hangs down, his eyes close and the ears droop 
in a melancholy way until the piano begins to pound out "The 
Blue Bells of Scotland." As soon as those familiar strains are 
heard he lifts his head and prepares to move, because he 
knows that is the last piece in the repertory. 

* * * 
The fish-peddler's vehicle is nothing more than a box 




&ft' 



"a lunch at cheap prices" 



"Vehicles Out of the Ordinary 9 1 

mounted on two wheels, with a pair of shafts in front and a 
place behind for the peddler to stand. The driver stands back 
of the box, in which the fish are packed in ice. When a cus- 
tomer calls him all he has to do is say "Whoa," lift up the lid, 
haul out a fish and weigh it with his spring scales. 

* * * 

Another strange peddler has a wagon with a hayrack on top 
and makes his living by selling sheaves of straw and sacks of 
corn-husks, which are used as bedding in many quarters where 
foreign laborers reside. 

The lemonade wagon and the confectionery store on wheels 
were common enough in the World's Fair neighborhood last 
year, but there is an air of novelty about the tin-type "gallery" 
on wheels now jumping from one vacant lot to another. 

Advertising agents are responsible for many of the weird ve- 
hicles on the streets. They send out Roman chariots to adver- 
tise a new chewing gum, and one of them rather overdid it by 
having a red-headed woman drive four white horses abreast. 

Every one in Chicago must have seen at one time or another 
those two huge bill-boards, joined at the top, mounted on 
four small wheels and drawn by a team of shaggy donkeys 
not much larger than jack rabbits. 

It will be conceded that the moving van is the most majestic 
vehicle to be seen, while from an artistic standpoint the gilded 
pie wagon has no rival. Then there is the fancy little steam 
boiler on wheels which is used in blowing out the stopped-up 
pipes. 

Every summer the suburbs are visited by strolling gypsies 
who make homes in the big gaudy caravans. It would be an 
interesting procession — one made up of the queer vehicles in 
Chicago. 



"Hobo" Wilson and 
the Good Fairy 

A CHILLY TOWN! A chilly town!" murmured Pem- 
berton Wilson as he limped around to the sunny side 
of warehouse F and slowly let himself down to a 
recumbent position on the hot, tarry boards. 

"A chilly town. That's what; even in the summer-time," 
said Pemberton Wilson as he threw a stray nail into the muddy 
slip and lazily watched the rings enlarge and lose themselves 
in faintest ripples. "You take any train and it lands you here, 
and the only comfort of bein' here is that there's so many 
trains out. I s'pose my stomach thinks I'm trying to go with- 
out anything for a week just on a bet. The country lanes must 
be sighing for me. I wonder if turnips are getting large enough." 

To designate Pemberton Wilson as a "hobo" would simply 
corroborate his opinion of himself. 

He had carved "Hobo Wilson" on many a section shanty 
and mile-post between Scranton, Pa., and Council Bluffs, 
Iowa, and there were friends who knew him as "Rooster." 

On one Indiana trip he had earned the title of "Come-Again 
Wilson" because he had a persistent way of getting on a train 
after once being put off. 

Like many another of his class, he was not devoid of senti- 
ment or philosophy. He carried in his breast pocket a speckled 
volume of Burns' poems. He had forgotten to return it to a 
public library in southern Illinois. The book opened of itself 
to the lines: "A man's a man for a' that." "Hobo" Wilson 
read the poem as he lay with his back against the warm boards 
of warehouse F, and then he put the book back in the pocket 
of his coat, which he had thrown down beside him. 

* * * 

At the bend in the river a coal vessel was being unloaded. 
The click of the machinery and the noisy dumping of the big 
buckets at regular intervals became rather soothing when the 
rhythm was understood. "Hobo" Wilson tapped with his 
thumb, keeping time, and looked through the rigging of a 

92 



"Hobo" Wilson and the Qood Fairy 93 

lumber schooner in the second slip beyond at the coughing 
smokestack which reached up from a small planing-mill. The 
mill was buzzing in changeable tones, like a nest of discordant 
bumble-bees. 

The smoke rolling from the stack drifted through the rig- 
ging, where the yards and netted lines seemed to cut it into 
irregular shapes. "Hobo" Wilson watched drowsily until to 
his blurred vision there were many fantastic forms floating in 
the foggy maze. And he was not greatly surprised when one 
of these forms took on the outline of a dwarfish human being 
and floated slowly toward him. It poised for a moment above 
a hawser timber and shook itself, a shower of soot falling from 
it. Then it settled into a comfortable sitting attitude and 
looked at him. 

"Well, Rooster, how's everything?" 

The voice was rather small and shrill. "Hobo" Wilson could 
not answer at once. He was marveling at the appearance of 
his strange visitor. The little man was hardly three feet high. 
Under the slouch hat was a good-natured and wrinkled face, 
decorated on the chin with a small tuft of beard, which might 
have been gray at one time, but which was now blackened 
and dusty, the same as his face and clothes. The latter were 
of rough quality — a hickory shirt, a shoddy pair of trousers, 
fringed at the bottoms and held up by one suspender, and a 
pair of worn shoes, much too large and laced with hemp twine. 

"Are you down on your luck, Rooster?" asked the little 
man. 

"I'm livin' on th' air," said Hobo. "But where did you 
come from?" 

"I just dropped in with the smoke. Don't know me, eh?" 

"That's what I don't." 

"Listen, 'Hobo' Wilson. Do you remember last Saturday 
morning when you were at Hammond and divided your hand- 
out with a brother who alighted from a box-car, a day out 
from Louisville and very hungry?" 

"I do. 'A man's a man for a' that.' " 

"True enough, Rooster. That was a good deed. More than 
once I've seen you give a comrade a good place on the truck." 

"Where was you?" 



94 



Chicago Stories 



"I dare say you didn't look up into the rolling cloud of 
smoke to see the good fairy of the hoboes." 

"Fairy!" 

"Cert. You didn't expect the guardian fairy of the hoboes 
to tear around the country in all kinds of weather with a little 
white robe and some ostrich-feather wings?" 

"I s'pose not." 

* * * 

"'Hobo' Wilson, I've 
watched you. I never saw 
you do a pard any dirt. The 
good things of this world 
must not all be given to 
brakemen and farmers and 
people who work. Are you 
hungry?" 
"Sure." 

"Then feel in the pockets 
of that coat beside you and 
believe me when I tell you 
that every man must live 
before he dies." 

"Sufferin' brake beams!" 

gasped "Rooster," as he 

drew from one pocket after 

another crumpled rolls of 

bank-bills. He heaped them up on the faded check cloth and 

his tears fell on them. 

"No more drillin' in the snow; no soup houses; never again 

in a bucket. Pard, you've done " 

But when he looked up again the one-gallused fairy had 
disappeared and the smoke which pushed through the rigging 
and rolled away was blacker than ever. 

* * * 
He put all the money in his pockets, first throwing away 
the balls of twine, the old pocket knife and the needle and 
thread wound about a beer cork. 

On the street car he could find no bill less than #5 and the 
conductor grumbled about the change. 




HOBO WILSON, 
I'VE WATCHED YOU' 



"Hobo" Wilson and the Qood Fairy 



95 



"Give me the change, confound you," said Mr. Wilson, "or 
else I'll have that number off of your cap." 

Thereupon the conductor quieted down and gave him his 
change. Mr. Wilson tossed 10 cents to a baby on a seat in 
front of him and then settled back to enjoy his ride. He had 
never known of a more beautiful day. He observed with much 
satisfaction that every one else seemed as happy as he. The 
women in the doorways were smiling and children romped 
along the sidewalks. He counted the money from one pocket 
and found that it amounted to #65, or 1,300 glasses of beer. 
The other passengers watched him curiously. 

He alighted at Polk Street and walked over to "Dinny's" 
place. The old crowd was there. 

"Come up, you fel- 
lows," said Mr. Wilson, 
"and drink all you can 
hold. I mean it," he added, /^V> 
as they did not seem will- jj&P ri 
ing to stand up and take \| 
chances. "Here's the 
stuff." 

He dribbled out on the 
bar the silver which the 
conductor had given him. 

There was a rush and 
Dinny began setting out 
rows of schooners. 

"Drinkupthatmoney!" 
shouted Mr. Wilson, "and 
say, Dinny, give me a 
good cigar." 

* * * 

While the boys were 
takingawaythe"scuttles" 

as fast as they could be passed up Mr. Wilson went out to 
purchase a wardrobe. He knew the place to go, because he 
had stood before it many a time looking at the brilliant neck- 
ties and white collars. The proprietor met him gruffly, but 
melted into smiles when he saw the roll of money. 



QB 




DRINK TILL YOU BUST 



96 Chicago Stories 

"Fix me up from the skin out," said Mr. Wilson. "Give me 
the best stuff you've got and hand it out quick. Have you got 
a back room?" 

Certainly he had a back room. Mr. Wilson was shown to 
that apartment and was treated with every courtesy. One by 
one the necessary articles were pushed into the room. At the 
end of ten minutes he was a new man. His neck felt the digni- 
fied embrace of a collar for the first time in years. The stiff 
shirt had straightened him up. He put his money into his 
new clothes and strolled out. The big officer who had once 
kicked him moved respectfully aside to allow him to pass. 

"I'll hire some one to lick that fellow," said Mr. Wilson as 
he directed his steps toward a fancy bar-room. 



He drank cocktail after cocktail, and their only effect was 
to increase his general cheerfulness and make every one around 
him more attentive to his wishes. 

"Where's the best restaurant in town?" he asked, leaning 
over the bar and familiarly addressing the man in the white 
garments. 

"It's two blocks down." 

"I'll show you where it is," said a man who wore clothes 
almost as good as those of Mr. Wilson, "come with me." 

Mr. Wilson locked arms with the gentleman, who intro- 
duced himself as president of a bank and said he was proud 
to be allowed to walk along the street with Mr. Wilson. They 
met several distinguished citizens whose names Mr. Wilson 
had read in scraps of newspaper around the lodging house. 

They met the mayor, the postmaster, Mr. Armour, Mr. 
Field, Mr. Pullman and others. Every time Mr. Wilson was 
introduced the whole crowd went and had a drink. Mr. Wil- 
son showed them how much money he had and they slapped 
him on the back and said he was a good fellow. 

At last Mr. Wilson and the banker sat down to dine. They 
had lobster and pie and champagne and all kinds of drinks, 
and Mr. Wilson gave the waiter a dollar to fan him while he 
was eating. 

Mr. Wilson ate two lobsters, for they were the first he had 



cc 



Hobo" Wilson and the Qood Fairy 



97 



tasted in ten years, and every one in the house watched him 
when he pulled out such a lot of money and demanded to 
know how much he owed the place. 

After that he and the banker went riding in an open car- 
riage and all the people along the street stopped to see them 
go by. They halted in front of a saloon and had the bartender 
bring three bottles of champagne out to the carriage — one for 
Mr. Wilson, one for the banker and one for the driver. 

While they were drinking the champagne out of the bottles 
a crowd gathered around. Mr. Wilson ordered a policeman 
to disperse the crowd, and he did so promptly. 



"Now, what shall we do next?" asked the banker, putting 
his arm around Mr. Wilson's neck. 

"Oh, take a little ride and then have something more to 
drink. Drive up, there!" and he stood up in the seat and 
kicked the driver in the back. 

So they drove up one 
street and down another, 
while the bands played and 
women at the windows 
waved handkerchiefs. Mr. 
Wilson leaned back in the 
cushions, thoroughly happy 
and counting his money, 
when he felt a sudden pain 
in his right foot. 

The pain became more 
sharp. 

He raised himself to his 

elbow. 

* * * 

He was getting the "hot- 
foot." A heavy policeman 
was pounding the sole of his 
shoe. The club was lifted 
again, but "Hobo" Wilson AT EACH STEP 

drew back his leg. the truth became clearer 




98 Chicago Stories 

"Go wan now! Get a move!" said the policeman, giving 
him a kick with the broad of his foot. 

"Well, I'm goin'," whined "Hobo" Wilson, whose head was 
all in a whirl as he came to his feet. He picked up his coat and 
limped around the corner of warehouse F and at each step the 
cruel truth became clearer to him. 

"Thank gpodness for one thing," said he, "I can still taste 

the lobster." 

* * * 

There was one remarkable circumstance in connection with 
this adventure, and it is a puzzle to Pemberton Wilson, alias 
"Hobo" Wilson, alias "Come Again" Wilson, alias "Rooster." 
He remembered throwing away the pocket-knife, thread and 
needle and string when he found the money. 

Sure enough, when he searched his coat afterward he found 
that of his personal property only the copy of Burns remained. 



How "Pink" Was Reformed 

IT WAS very difficult to tell whether "Pink" had been 
drinking or not. The only signs were a slight reddening of 
the eyeballs and an increased violence of laughter. 
There was no such thing as detecting an alcoholic flush in a 
face which had the dull brown-black color of chocolate. It was 
generally known around the building, however, that "Pink" 
was addicted to spirituous, vinous, malt and other intoxicating 
liquors, with a racial preference for gin. He had other worldly 
habits, which he gladly confessed. These were "craps" and 
"policy." Even to the customers who could have no possible 
interest in such lowly speculation he confided stories about 
"passin' de bones," "Little Joe" and "gettin' ole eight," what- 
ever he may have meant. One day when he appeared with a 
new suit of checked garments he announced that he had hit 
the "Kentucky row" on a "gig," or something of that kind. 
This was conclusive evidence that he gambled at times and 
was a person of bad habits. 

However, he was so obliging, so ready to laugh at jokes and 



How c<:c Pink" Was Reformed 99 

so conscientious in his work of polishing shoes that his faults 
were overlooked. His chair was in the main corridor of the 
building near the elevator. Those who were well acquainted 
with him knew that his name was William Pinckney Marvin, 
and that he had aspirations to leave the lowly occupation of 
cleaning shoes and get a job at one of the race-tracks. 

* * * 

It has already been intimated that "Pink" sometimes 
drank, but seldom to the neglect of business. 

From the story afterward told by him it would appear that 
on the day of misfortunes "Wilse" Johnson, who worked in 
the hotel, approached the boot-blacking stand and asked: 
"Are you strong?" 

Pink gave him the white of his eyes and said: "Man, I'm 
too strong for any hotel colo'ed person." 

Wilse suggested that he had some "bones" in his pocket 
and "Pink" said: "I ain't got no strength to run; mus' stay 
here and get action." 

They began rolling at 10 cents a crap, but too many people 
stopped to watch them, and "Pink," who had been "got into" 
for 30 cents, advised an adjournment to the alley, where he 
knew of a good place. They sought the quiet alley, "Pink" 
leaving his business interests to go to rack, and for the next 
hour there was a rattle of dry "bones," accompanied by a 
chanting duet of such expressions: "Come on, seven" and "I 
mus' have fo'." At the end of that time Mr. "Wilse" Johnson 
was bankrupted, for "Pink" had "faded" him to the extent 
of £3.50. 

In the flush of success "Pink" offered to buy, and the two 
sought a neighboring saloon which fronted on the alley. 
"Pink" met some white men in there and called up the house. 
The white gentlemen waived all prejudice as to color and ac- 
cepted his hospitality. After that there were other drinks, and 
he was introduced to a number of colored men, who were 
apparently friends of "Wilse" Johnson. 

* * * 

"Pink" remembered distinctly next day that he made 
speeches on several topics, feeling that he had a right to do so, 
because he had done most of the buying. "Wilse" Johnson 



ioo Chicago Stories 

was gloomy and unsociable. It was during a discussion of the 
freedman's condition that they fell into an argument over the 
question: "Isn't a colored man as good as anybody else?" 
While "Pink" was addressing himself to the question "Wilse" 
Johnson made some disparaging remark, which the speaker 
properly resented. It was all a misty recollection, but "Pink" 
knew that some one pushed him from behind, while some one 
else struck him over the head with what felt to be a billiard 
cue. Something landed in his eye, and he felt himself lying on 
the floor being jumped on. 

At about 6 o'clock that evening he reached his "stand" in 
the lobby, his legs describing strange curves, his garments 
torn and bloody and his face an awful picture of dark, rare 
meat. 

A sympathetic man sent for the janitor and the latter 
dragged "Pink" into a wash-room and with the aid of cotton 
and arnica dressed his wounds. The injured and betrayed man 
could give no account of what had happened, although he con- 
stantly mumbled an intention to cut out several important 
parts from some one's anatomy. Shortly after 7 o'clock he was 
able to walk around and the janitor had him put on a State 
Street car, with instructions to the conductor to dump him off 

at the right corner. 

* * * 

At the very hour when "Pink" Marvin and "Wilse" John- 
son got into a dispute over the civil rights of the colored man, 
a murder was done in a "levee" saloon about ten blocks dis- 
tant. Two colored men engaged in a fight. One stabbed the 
other and escaped through the back door. The wounded man 
died within an hour and that evening every policeman in uni- 
form and every "fly" man was on the lookout for a murderer, 
a colored man of whom there was but a vague description. 

* * * 

"Pink," slightly repaired, and with his head tied up, leaned 
heavily back in the corner and dozed as the car moved south- 
ward. He did not see the two officers in plain clothes studying 
him from the back platform, and was considerably surprised 
when awakened by a rough shake. 

"We want you," said one of the men. 



How ccc Pink" Was Reformed 



101 



"Wha' fo'," asked "Pink." 

"Aw, come on and don't talk. You're the guy that had the 
fight in that saloon." 

"Yes, sah, but " 

"Aw, come on," and they had him between them running 
him toward a patrol box. There was the usual crowd and a 
great many people pushed around and wanted to know what 
he had done. "Pink" was too thoroughly sick and miserable 
to care what happened to him. He was thrown into the wagon, 
the bell went ding-ding-ding, and he rode to the station in a 
hurry. The moment they pushed him into a cell he collapsed 
and did not waken until broad daylight. 

Then, with a racking headache, a burning throat and a dull 
ache wherever he had been struck or kicked, he tried to figure 
why he should be in the police station. It was the first time he 
had ever been arrested and he remembered that when taken 
into custody he was riding peaceably in a cable car. After 
breakfast a turnkey unlocked the cell door and said: "Come 

II Jl 




HE WAS TAKEN TO THE STATION 



102 Chicago Stories 

out here, Marvin, the captain wants to talk with you." So 
he had told his right name. 

Sore and limping he followed upstairs and was pushed into 
a small room, bare of carpet and with no furniture save a small 
desk and several chairs. The captain was a large man with a 
small mustache and a uniform very new and bright. He spoke 
rather kindly to the prisoner. 

"You were out drinking a little yesterday." 

"Tha's right, boss; I don't deny it." 

"Got purty full, eh?" 

"I had too much, fo' a fac\" 

"Got into a little fight?" 

"They jumped on me, seh; I didn't do nothin'." 

"How did you happen to go in there?" 

"Well, seh, me and a frien' o' mine goes in to take a drink. 
We meets some mo' fellows." 

"I see. What started the fight?" 

"I don' 'zactly remembeh." 

"What became of your knife?" 

"I didn' have no knife at all." 

"Is that so?" There was a sudden change in the tone. "Do 
you know that you got into a fight in there and killed a man ?" 

"Wha's dat — wha' you say!" He was staring at the captain 
and trembling like a leaf. Then, with a cry like that of a fright- 
ened child, he fell across the arm of his chair in a dead faint. 
The captain threw open the door and motioned to an officer, 
who roused "Pink" and half dragged him back to the cell. 

"He's the man all right," said the captain. 

"He just the same as admitted it last night," remarked the 
desk sergeant. * * * 

"Pink" lay crouched in his cell for two hours, crying in ter- 
ror, before he thought to send for his friend the janitor. He 
was a murderer and entitled to special privileges. The janitor 
was summoned. He stood at the bars and listened to "Pink's" 
choking narrative. 

"That's funny," said he. "Larry was up this morning and 
said you broke a looking glass in his place, but he didn't say 
you stabbed any one. Did you have two fights?" 



How ccc Pink" Was Reformed 



103 



"Pink" gave it up. He was ready to give up everything. 
But the janitor sent for "Larry," who came and told a straight 
story and the captain, much puzzled, sent for the colored bar- 
tender, who had seen the stabbing. He took one look at "Pink" 
and that settled it. He said the guilty man was a light yellow. 
"Git out," said the captain, giving "Pink" a shove, and 
"Pink" ran. 

Each Sunday morning at the African Methodist Episcopal 
Church the minister says: "The offering will now be taken" 
and Brother William Pinckney Marvin marches up in front 
and starts around with the basket. When the hymns are sung 
his voice rises loudly and joyously above all others. Since that 
morning when he rushed from the station he has shunned the 
"bones" and the "gigs" and if any one dares to suggest drink- 
ing he quotes scripture, his favorite passage being: "De way 
of de transgressor's hard, and no mistake." 




fl%jfaf&"' 



SHANTIES 



After the Sky-Scrapers, What? 

EVERY time the down-town confusion of roofs, chim- 
neys and towers is viewed from some eminence there 
' must come to the mind a query: "When will Chicago 
reach the era of stability?" 

Over there to the northwest a cluster of men no larger than 
flies are hacking away at a roof from which arises dry clouds 
of dust. The first blow is struck at the cornice, and the de- 
struction is not to cease until the last foundation stone has 
been rooted out of the clay. 

To the northeast is a right-angled web of steel towering 
above black roofs and showing like the skeleton of a great 
monument. 

There has not been a time in years when the destruction 
and construction were not to be seen from this same window, 
and even the old residents who have watched the ceaseless 
and marvelous changes of the business district say it is appar- 
ently as much unfinished as it was fifty years ago. They may 
come back in spirit a few centuries hence to view the same 
old tearing down and building up. 

* * * 

Chicago need not complain because the critics are not satis- 
fied with this town. The town is never satisfied with itself. A 
man builds a six-story brick building with a stone front, across 
the top of which is a tablet bearing his name. It fills with ten- 
ants, the foundation settles into place and is ready for perma- 
nency. The man snaps his fingers and says: "Pshaw, this will 
never do! I must have been an idiot — building for a village!" 
Out go the tenants, bag and baggage; in goes the wrecking 
crew, and behold ! there remain only a hole in the ground and 
a barricade of rubbish, and the pedestrians have to walk in 
the street to avoid the horrors of improvement. 

This business region is like a household which never settles 
down — where the "cleaning" goes ahead the year round. 

To-day the drawing-room is full of ladders and buckets. 

To-morrow the dining-room is having doors hacked through 
its walls and a new floor is being put down. 

104 



zAfter the Sky-Scrapers, What? 1 05 

The day after, carpets are being laid. The man of the house 
knows that after the work is finished, after every article of 
furniture is in place, the pictures hung, the rugs spread and 
the lamps lighted, it will be a snug and beautiful home, but 
no sooner is one spasm over than another begins and he can 
never settle down to a quiet enjoyment of the comforts he 
has purchased. 

The down-town thoroughfare no sooner adopts a tidy front 
and an unbroken row of bright windows before a vandal army 
wrenches a building to pieces, puts a rough wooden shed over 
the sidewalk and begins the clamorous work of driving the 
earth full of enormous piles, on which is to rest the towering 
structure of bolted steel. Then the way is strewn with bricks, 
sand and riveted slabs of metal. 

"It's an ugly locality while the work is in progress, but wait 
until the sky-scraper is completed and the litter taken away." 
That's the consolation. When the day comes the vandals rush 
upon a building next door, and once more — Babel. 

After the sky-scraper, what? 

The corner building lot on the busy corner held in the '30s 
a two-story frame with a peaked roof. It was a likely building, 
but the '40s wouldn't have it. 

Then there came a three-story frame with a square front to 
the street and a double storeroom down-stairs. And the '50s 
sneered at it. 

Nothing would do but brick. The new building was longer 
and had stone steps in front, with fancy work along the cor- 
nice and the inside doors were "grained." They called it a 
"block." But long before the fire wiped* it away it stood 
abashed in a neighborhood of larger buildings and the tenants 
were third-class. 

There came an opportunity after the fire to build a mag- 
nificent business structure which should anticipate the growth 
of the city rising from its ashes. What if the people did call 
the builder reckless when he made the entire front of heavy 
stone, which overhung in carved folds? Why not heed the les- 
son of the fire and build something to stand forever? It was a 
pride indeed — five stories high, finished inside with hardwood 



io6 



Chicago Stories 




SPRAWLING SHANTIES WHICH ARE IN LUCK TO HAVE 
SURVIVED SO LONG 

and a multiplicity of gas-jets. There was a passenger elevator 
and the windows had plate glass. At last it deserved the name 
of "block" and its offices were greedily taken. 

Who would think that twenty years could bring about such 
a change ? The stonework was ink-black from ooze and smoke. 
The gorgeous front looked as out of date as a fashion picture 
which one occasionally finds in the files of the Lady's Magazine. 
The good tenants had left the musty hallways, with their yel- 
low gas-lights, and had gone to new buildings where the ele- 
vators flew, where the walls were of white marble and the 
electric lights were turned on by the snap of a button. The 
dark, clumsy hardwood doors and arches were not to be com- 



. 



zAfter the Sky-Scrapers y What? 1 07 

pared with the later styles of cheerful oak and maple. The 
slivered wooden floors were cheap and commonplace beside 
the new surfaces of inlaid tile. The palace which was to endure 
for all time had become the habitation of doubtful detective 
agencies, high-sounding publishing concerns, obscure lawyers 
and struggling little corporations trying to float stock. 

Around the building loomed the giant office buildings of the 
new era and they had set an increased value on ground space. 
They had demonstrated that a lot with fifty feet frontage may 
draw revenues from 500 inmates instead of the former 150. 
The ground under the old building had become so valuable 
that it could not be wasted in holding up an antiquated five- 
story ramshackle. 

So the wreckers battered the old thing to pieces and some 
of the men who had admired it twenty years before said: 
"There goes an old landmark, and it's a good thing. Now we'll 
get a nice fourteen-story building on that corner." 

In a matter of a very few weeks the gaunt triumph of new 
methods was completed. It had the architectural proportions 
of a hitching-post and it had been reduced in rank from a 
"block" to a "building." But it was a great success. Men pas- 
sengers clung to the bars and women shrieked in hysteria when 
one of the lightning elevators made a rocket leap for the roof. 
There was a restaurant in the basement, a cigar-stand in the 
main lobby and a barber-shop on the eleventh floor, to say 
nothing of mail-chutes, a telegraph office and a bureau of 
clean towels. 

The owner was satisfied. He had reached the climax once 
more and was just as certain of it as his predecessors had been 
back in the '30s, '40s, '50s and '70s. But after the sky-scraper, 
what? 

Every writer dealing with Chicago has said much about the 
remarkable condensation of the business activity of the city 
into that small area bounded on the east by the lake, on the 
north by the Chicago River, on the west by the south branch 
and on the south by no fixed line or street. It is a case of going 
either south or up into the air. Those who have preferred to 
remain in the thick of the business turmoil built and are build- 
ing into the air. There is nothing new in the prophecy that 



108 Chicago Stories 

some day, and it will not do to postpone it too long, every 
building in the business region will be at least twelve stories 
high, the streets will be so many canons and the sunshine will 
filter down through crevices in that vast area of flat roofs. 

* * * 

Some day, also, it may be necessary to begin tearing down 
these rows of sky-scrapers, just as the perfected buildings of 
the '70s are now being demolished. In this town are certain 
"wrecking" companies which tear down buildings for a con- 
sideration. Happily for them, they will be out of business be- 
fore the trussed and interlocked mountains of structural iron 
have to be razed. 

"It will be a fearful task to pull down one of those build- 
ings," said a manager of a wrecking company. "Think of the 
thousands of rusted rivets holding the framework together. 
Around this framework is the shell of mortar and brick, lock- 
ing the joints. You can batter down a brick or stone wall, and 
it is easy enough to chop away wood, but if the Masonic 
Temple is ever to be pulled down and carted away some man 
will have a beautiful job on his hands." 

* * * 

The builders block the sidewalks and the pavers have torn 
the street until it resembles a strip of the Bad Lands. The 
paving of ten years ago, which was to remain forever, is no 
longer satisfactory and accordingly there is to be a new kind, 
which is to last forever. 

The newly paved streets meet badly paved streets, which 
must soon be disemboweled. The amazing sky-scrapers have 
as next-door neighbors sprawling shanties which are lucky to 
have survived so long. Therefore it behooves the patient citi- 
zen to accustom himself to walking through dark sheds and 
climbing the heaps of granite blocks. Not for many years at 
least will this great business center of Chicago be improved to 
its limit and thoroughly satisfied with itself. 



Sidewalk Merchants and 
Their Wares 

HE WAS a beautiful example of patience and long suf- 
fering. There under the shelter of the corner and free 
from the currents of humanity which met at right 
angles he stood all day long, holding out his merchandise for 
the inspection of an indifferent public and chanting, "Shoe- 
strings — 5 cents a pair." 

From the ninety and nine he received not so much as a 
glance. 

Perhaps one in a hundred turned his head at sound of the 
appealing voice, but did not slacken his speed. 

About one of a thousand stopped to look at the strings or 
perhaps to chaff" the mournful dealer. 

And let it be supposed that one in 10,000, either moved by 
charity or suddenly reminded of a need, bought a pair of shoe- 
strings and tucked them away in a back pocket. 

The dealer always met the buyer with rare self-possession, 
as if a customer were not a novelty. 

He gave no evidence of excitement when a man bought two 
pairs, and there was no change in his hopeful attitude when a 
prospective customer broke away without buying. He had the 
quality of equipoise, so rare in business men. 

The bunch of shoe-strings was always the same size and the 
greasy cap was always set at the same vagabond angle on his 
gray head. The coat and vest had once been of gay check and 
were of juvenile design. The coat, for instance, was short be- 
hind and slashed away from the third button in front. 

At one time there had been silk facing on the lapels, but it 
had worn down to a few threads. The vest was double-breasted, 
and there were pins to mark the former location of buttons. 
The baggy and stained trousers had once been braided down 
the sides. These wrecks of cheap gentility were in harmony 
with the narrow, bony face, which was stubbled with gray 
beard, while the eyes seemed to have lost all expression except 
that of tired indifference. The flesh had a dead pallor, for it is 

109 



I IO 



Chicago Stories 



a curious fact that whereas 
whisky will cause one man to 
puff and redden it will draw 
the blood from another and eat 
him from within until there 
seems to remain only an ashy 
parchment over the skeleton. 
* * * 
"Shoe-strings — 5 cents a 
pair." 

This quavering cry seemed 
to have become a habit with 
him, for sometimes he repeat- 
ed it over and over when the 
corner was quiet in the lull of 
an afternoon and there wasn't 
a possible customer within 
hearing distance. 

Where did he live and how 
did he live? Suppose he sold as 
many as five pairs of shoe- 
strings in a day (large estimate) . 
His total receipts would be 25 cents, but not more than half 
of that would be profit. How could he live for 12^ cents a 
day? Did he ever eat? 

What had been his life? A man who begins early to be a 
"bum" and drunkard does not live to be 60 years old. 

Another thing: Any man of 60 can remember well-dressed 
days of prosperity. Did the shoe-string man remember such 
days, and if so what must have been his reflections as he stood 
on the corner all day, starving for liquor? 

It would seem that one who has the patience to stand and 
offer goods could find something more salable than shoe- 
strings. But the sidewalk merchants do not think so, for one 
sells the 5-cent strings, another cheap handkerchiefs, another 
collar-buttons and another pocket combs. 
Did you ever see any one buy of them? 

* * * 
Not all of these penny speculators are old and physically 
disabled. 




C 1 Wc c i Ccc c " 



POPCORN BALLS A CENT APIECE 



™ 



Sidewalk z_Mer 'chants and Their Wares 



i I i 



In a city where manual labor has always commanded a fair 
remuneration the broad-shouldered immigrant prefers to take 
his chances hawking collar-buttons. He would rather make 25 
cents a day and be in "business" than work for #1.50 a day. 

The rush of immigration is responsible for the unloading in 
the streets of Chicago of the cheap and picturesque ragamuffins 
to be found in the poverty districts of European cities. Five 
years ago the Italian children who played and sang on the 
street corners were regarded as novelties. Now the streets 
swarm with them and they are as bold and bothersome as 
English sparrows. 

They tag at coat-tails and beg for pennies. With noisy con- 
certinas and capering dances they infest saloons. The smallest 
girls have learned the vulgar dances of the day and the larger 
ones sing bad parodies on popular songs. 

Most of the flower girls come from this same class. The 
flower girl is a thing of beauty on the stage, where she wears 
bangs and a pink dress and does a neat song and dance. The 
flower girl of Clark Street, at 
the hour of midnight, is a 
frowsy young creature, who 
goes from one basement 
drinking place to another. 
She fastens flowers in the 
button-holes, then says: 
"Give me whatever you 
please." 

Saucy, forward, and with 
a frightful knowledge of the 
things which children should 
not know, she is interesting 
in her way, but it is not a 
promising way. 

* * * 

In the alley where the 
newsboys gathered there is a ceaseless competition for pen- 
nies. The Italian at the end of the alley gives a spoonful of 
ice-cream on a piece of brown paper for 1 cent. His country- 
man near by sells hot sausage at 2 cents a link. 




THE ARISTOCRAT OF HIS CLASS 



I 12 



Chicago Stories 



In a basement stairway is the waffle boy. Further along is 
the old woman who offers an enormous sweet cake and a mug 
of "pop" for 5 cents. Then there is the man who sells popcorn 
balls at I cent each, and if his receipts were all profits he 
couldn't become rich. 

These alley establishments do a lively business at certain 
hours of the day. 

* * * 

It is not to be supposed 
that all the street mer- 
chants belong to a class 
with the shoe-string man. 
Many a fruit stand does 
a business which would 
be creditable to a retail 
shop, and the young gen- 
tlemen with their show- 
cases full of cut roses and 
sweet-peas comevery near 
being public benefactors. 
But the straying "bark- 
er" who jingles his collar 
buttons before you and 
the frayed mortal who 
holds out the speckled 
combs — these are the pit- 
iable evidences that Chi- 
cago is becoming a me- 
tropolis. In order to sus- 
tain one feature of metro- 
politan life a large num- 
ber of people must expose either their misery or their help- 
lessness. 

The arch-fiend of the sidewalk business men is he who sells 
the 50-cent umbrellas, and the only mitigating circumstance 
in his case is that the purchaser might have known that he 
couldn't get an umbrella for 50 cents. 

The umbrella man comes out of hiding every rainy day and 




HOKEY-POKEY PENNY ICE-CREAM 



Sidewalk zJXCerchants and Their Wares 113 

you may find him at a down-town corner howling vociferously 
and holding a real umbrella over a grain sack stuffed full of 
the alleged umbrellas which he is offering for 50 cents apiece. 

Happy is the man who goes home in the rain without yield- 
ing to the entreaties, for this is the story of one man who 
purchased. 

The handle was made of varnished pine and the ribs of tele- 
graph wire. It opened with a creak and assumed a dumpy 
shape, one side being much depressed; but the owner thought 
it would answer the purpose. It had the general appearance 
of an umbrella. 

He started out in the heavy rain and the canopy of thin 
black stuff gathered water like a sponge. 

He felt his hand getting wet and discovered that a dark 
stream was trickling down the pine stick. Then a drop of some- 
thing fell on his arm and left a stain like a drop of ink. 

It would have been bad enough if the umbrella had simply 
leaked. 

But the rain which came through washed out the cheap dye 
and spattered it over the unhappy man underneath. 

He should have thrown away the thing, but he hadn't the 
courage, because the rain was driving so hard. He kept the 
umbrella over him and endured the shower bath, but when he 
reached shelter he was polka-dotted from head to foot. 

The umbrella had washed out to a dirty gray color, and the 
handle seemed covered with mucilage. 

He tried to close the thing, but it bagged out fearfully, so 
he threw it out of the window, and some unsuspecting person 
stole it and was doubtless punished in due time. 




Some of the Unfailing Signs 

IF YOU were to be wrecked in the Pacific Ocean 2,000 miles 
off the mainland and driven by the storm to the coast of 
an unknown island; if you did not know your latitude, 
longitude or the direction of the wind; if you met on the beach 
a young man with two cigars in one upper vest pocket, while 
from the other upper pocket protruded three sharpened pen- 
cils and the white bone handle of a tooth-brush; if you didn't 
know the name of the island or the name of the young man, 
you could at least be certain of one thing — viz. : that the 
young man was a telegraph operator. 

And you would know that he was not a city operator, but 
one of a suburban or country town. 

Of course you can't give any good reason why the telegraph 
operator should balance his vest by putting cigars on one side 
and the pencils and tooth-brush on the other. Neither can you 
explain the tail-feathers of a peacock. 

There are some things that must be accepted as universal 
truths. 

Suppose a man is standing in front of a 
boarding house in Van Buren Street. He 
wears a close-fitting suit of black and the 
short sack coat flares out somewhat in a bell 
shape below. The coat has rather wide braid 
on it and the vest is slashed away from the 
lower button. The shirt is blue-striped and 
the soft black hat is flat on top and fits well 
down on the head, scraping the ears. With 
trousers of the spring bottom type and a 
cameo ring on the third finger of the left 
hand what more is needed to identify the 
man as a "railroader"? Not an engineer or a 
passenger conductor, but one of the freight 
"crew." Possibly he is the conductor, but 
probably he is the brakeman. The usual 
mark of distinction is the heavy gold chain 
which is worn by the "railroader" as soon as 
he is "given a train." 
114 




<fot* 



WHAT is he: 



m 



Some of the Unfailing Signs 



If there remains any doubt as to his identity it 
count his fingers and thumbs, watch the "hunch" 
ders when he walks or ask him the time of day. If 
open-faced and the man 
says "Nine forty-three" 
— that settles it. 

The railroad man could 
be picked from a proces- 
sion of ioo men strung 
along in a row and there 
wouldn't be much risk of 
a mistake. If he had a 
look of worn patience in 
his eyes, affected an iron- 
gray mustache, had box- 
toed shoes and dangled a 
secret-society emblem 
set in jewels the odds 
would be several to one 
that he was a passenger 
conductor with a good 



"5 

might do to 
of his shoul- 
the watch is 



"run." 




THE BOARD OF TRADE YOUNG MAN 



* * * 

What person, unless he chooses to consider it undignified to 
do so, has not studied these trade-marks as shown in the ap- 
parel of the men who crowd by him in the street? After he 
acquires a certain amount of expert knowledge, based on ob- 
servation, he classifies a man almost as soon as he sees him. 

If he meets in Jackson Street a square-shouldered young 
man, with a small, soft hat pulled forward over one eye, a 
short office coat napping in the wind and a general suggestion 
of good clothes worn in a "don't-care" fashion, isn't he satis- 
fied at once that the young man belongs to the board of trade? 
He does not have to turn around and watch the young man 
go into the building. 



or 



Volumes might be written about the ready-made white bow, 
the "dress" bow, as it figures in the every-day life of 



Chicago. 



n6 



Chicago Stories 




S(juP lr 



ALDERMANIC 



According to the set rules of fashion such a bow is to be 
worn with evening dress, but no less a personage than Mayor 
Hopkins has set this rule at defiance. 

When Harper's Weekly asked for his photograph at the time 
of the railroad strike he sat before the camera wearing a ready- 
made white bow-tie with a cutaway suit. 
The picture appeared in the paper, and 
was the cause of much talk. The "make- 
up" was that of a graduate from a prepar- 
atory school, but it served the purpose of 
causing the mayor to appear a peculiarly 
timid and guileless young man. 

The white-lawn tie is a great favorite 
in the city hall. 

It is easily adjusted, and does not in- 
terfere with the display of diamonds. 

After it has been used for about a 
week and begins to curl up at the ends 
it is not an object of beauty, but for- 
tunately it can be replaced for 10 cents. 

This same pattern of neckwear is very common among 
ministers of the gospel. 

With them the use is allowable and the simple bow of pure 
white makes a chaste contrast with the 
somber black coat. 

Pure white is emblematic of purity. 
The girl graduate looks well in white. 
But there is some difference between a 
girl graduate and "Tubby" Bite, sewer in- 
spector and a handy man in a "mix-up." 
* * * 
Have you seen during the summer a 
strange girdle of leather or cloth with pock- 
ets and false buttons? It is called the "sash- 
vest," and the proposed penalty for wear- 
ing one is ninety days in the Bridewell or 
disfranchisement for life. 

The sash-vest, it will be remembered, 
was always worn by a willowy man who 




"ninety days" 



-«^ 



Some of the Unfailing Signs 



117 




CONCEALING THEIR IDENTITY 



appeared to be either conval- 
escent or on the decline. There 
was something the matterwith 
him besides the "sash-vest." 
The man who wore one of 
these also had oil on his hair, 
carried a black silk handker- 
chief and wore low shoes and 
spotted stockings. 

The summer was half 
wasted if you didn't see this 
young man. If you did see him, 
you will continue to meet him 
in your dreams and imagine 
him this winter with rabbit fur 
on his overcoat, a green muffler 
around his neck and his hands 
incased in yellow gloves. 

There is no mistaking the 
"fly man" from the city hall, 

whether he is found at a charity ball, disguised as a guest, 
or standing on a well-known corner smoking a cigar and 
"shadowing" something. In the first place, his "partner" is 
with him and they are smoking. They appear too strong to be 
workingmen and they are too full of leisure to be business 
men. They wear their hats forward and speak to each other in 
subdued tones. The mustaches and the jewelry, the stealthy 
side glances and all the other symptoms are present. They 
simply couldn't be anything else than "fly men" and when 
they begin to hang around a corner all the neighboring children 
come out to see who's going to be detected or arrested. 

* * * 

During the time of the anarchist scare in Chicago a young 
man was told to disguise himself as a workingman and hang 
around a certain 1 8th Street saloon where anarchists were sup- 
posed to hold meetings. The young man at once attired him- 
self in a checked pair of trousers of the "song and dance" kind, 
a red flannel shirt and a short coat. 

Having completely disguised himself as a workingman he 



n8 



Chicago Stories 



entered the saloon, where the long-haired and beer-sodden 
revolutionists were sitting about the tables eating rye bread 
and organizing a new social condition. They looked up as he 
entered, and a moment later there was a concerted rush for 
him and a loud demand, in several foreign languages, for his 
life. He was chased for about a mile along the car tracks and 
was then headed off by the police, who took him in charge 
as a "suspect." 

If this young man had made a preliminary trip to 18th 
Street he might have learned that the workingman did not 
wear a fireman's shirt or a tout's trousers. 

* * * 
You can see him any day racing toward 
the entrance of the county building. His 
hair is altogether too long, his silk hat is too 
small and too frouzy and his Prince Albert 
coat is shrinking in the arms. But if he 
should cut his hair, exchange the tall hat 
for a derby and wear the ordinary tailor- 
made business suit how would people know 
that he was a lawyer? 

He is the lawyer of theatrical methods 
who is going to succeed by reason of his 
eccentricities. 

Once in his youth he heard a great crim- 
inal lawyer make a speech and move the 
jury to tears. That lawyer had long hair, 
which was never combed. Since then he had understood that 
if he grew long hair and never combed it he could be a great 
lawyer also. It is just as necessary for him to have long hair as 
it is for a physician to have whiskers and a white vest. If it 
were not for him and the brakeman, the "fly man," the board 
of trade man and the hundred others, what a monotonous 
task it would be to watch the street crowd! 




'&& 



A GREAT LAWYER 



A Plantation Dinner 
at Aunt Mary's 

DIDN'T you ever eat any 'chidlins'?" asked the man 
who had the party in tow. "Why, you've missed 
half your life. There's nothing finer." 

The others listened but said nothing. They were not quali- 
fied to speak with any authority of "chidlins," and one or two 
of them confessed, almost with shame, that they had never 
partaken of pig-tail, which, the chaperon declared, was the 
best part of the animal excepting, always, the "chidlins." 

If the "chidlins" were taken from a beef they would be 
called "tripe," but as they are derived from the autumnal hog 
they are "chidlins." The word, to be correct, is "chitterlings." 
In the old days when men wore ruffled shirt fronts the fluted 
and convoluted laces on the shirt bosom were "chitterlings." 
The name was afterward applied to the tripish parts of the 
hog because, when fried, they curl and ruffle in the skillet. 

Down south the word has been abbreviated to "chidlins," 
and "Aunt Mary," who never heard them called anything 
else, has a sign above the whitewashed door: 



CHIDLINS, 15 CENTS. 



The man who discovered the place was in the party. He 
and the man who had been discoursing on the virtues of pig- 
tail had received their education in eating south of Mason 
and Dixon's line. When they said that "Aunt Mary" was the 
only woman in Chicago who could prepare a plantation dinner 
the others had to be silent. 

Far south along slushy streets and into narrow, unfamiliar 
thoroughfares they led the way. The wet and drifting snow- 
flakes lost themselves as soon as they reached the black paste 
spread under foot. 

119 



120 



Chicago Stories 




HEADQUARTERS FOR CHIDLINS' 



Although the afternoon 
was but half spent there 
were lights in many of the 
houses. In one of the streets, 
where the low buildings 
were huddled in close rows, 
the man who had discov- 
ered the place called a sud- 
den halt and said : "Here we 
are." 

A steep stairway led to 
the white basement front, 
where a dim light showed 
against the panes. "Aunt 
Mary" was waiting and she 
went into a convulsion of 
laughter before any one said 
a word to her "Aunt Mary" 
was short and very fat. Her 
round figure was puckered 
in at the waist-line, or what should have been the waist-line, 
by tight apron-strings. She had a face of ebony, eyeballs as 
white as the outside snow and a close growth of kinky hair. 
She laughed so hard that she had to back through the side 
door into the kitchen before she could recover sufficiently to 
say "Ev'thing's ready." 

* * * 
At the rear of the low room was an old-fashioned bureau 
with a kerosene lamp on it. The tin reflector behind the lamp 
threw a full light on the table, which had been carefully "set." 
In the center was a glass cake-stand bearing a pyramid of 
"rusty-coat" apples and there were some tufts of celery and a 
deep glass dish floating full of radishes. "Aunt Mary," from 
the depths of the kitchen where the open front of the cook- 
stove showed a hot blaze, called out that she "couldn' git no 
'possum." 

"What! no 'possum?" exclaimed the man who had been 
dwelling on this feature of the dinner. 

"No, seh. Ah see one yist'day hangin' up, but de man say 



zA^Plantation T>inner at zAunt ^hCary 's 1 2 1 



he done sol' it. Ah had ve'y strong tem'tation to grab dat 
'possum. Man say too eahly fo' 'em. Gwine to git sev'al nex' 
week." 

"What have you got?" 

"Chidlins." 

"That's good. Any pig-tails?" 

"Yes, seh, and snouts, too." 

Greatly cheered by this information the seven epicures took 
their places at the table. One chair had only a small remaining 
patch of cane seat, and the man to whom it fell spread himself 
to avoid going through to the floor. "Aunt Mary" and her 
accomplice, an older colored woman of solemn manner, who 
occasionally peeped out from the kitchen, had taken pains to 
have everything correct. Japa- 
nese napkins had been rolled up 
in the tumblers. When, just at 
the beginning, a very dark young 
man, with big pearl buttons on 
his overcoat, came in the front 
door, he was hurried into the 
kitchen and kept there. 
* * * 

"Chidlins," announced "Aunt 
Mary," as she waddled in from 
the kitchen bearing a platter, 
from which rose a cloud of grate- 
ful steam. While that platter was 
being passed around she reap- 
peared with the pig-tails. Then 
she brought in the "snouts" and 
the corn-cake. 

She was laboring under great 
excitement. The compliments 
lavished upon the tempting 

scramble of pig-tails, the chorus of "Ah-h-hs" which wel- 
comed the "chidlins" and the seraphic smile of the southern 
man when he beheld the "snouts" before him— all these 
worked on "Aunt Mary's" sensitive nature until she paddled 
around in pure happiness. She would have been in a flushed 




TALK ABOUT 
YOUR HONEYCOMB TRIPE : 



122 



Chicago Stories 



condition if there were such a thing as a charcoal "flush." As 
it was her large frame shook, jellylike, from emotion, and 
she chuckled incessantly. 

"The way to eat chidlins," said the Tennessee man at the 
head of the table, "is to sprinkle them with salt and then pour 
on some vinegar. Talk about your honey-comb tripe! Give 
me a little of that corn-cake." 

The corn-cake was in thin, hard slabs as yellow as gold. 
The men who knew said it was "genuine," and the others de- 
voured it hungrily. They praised the "chidlins" also and de- 
clared they had never tasted anything better. 

"Do you really like them?" asked the man at the head of 
the table, with the deep smile of one who feels that he is fully 

vindicated and upheld. 

"Certainly I do. I'll 
take some more." 

"Buttahmilk," an- 
nounced "Aunt Mary." 
The Tennessee man 
held out his tumbler and 
ventured the opinion that 
the colored lady at his 
left could give the Union 
League chef cards and 
spades and then beat him 

out. 

* * * 

But she hadn't com- 
pleted her triumph. When 
next she entered she car- 
ried a platter on which 
was spread a four-legged 
animal almost buried under the split sweet potatoes. 

"Bre'r rabbit," said she as she moved the dishes and made 
room for the platter. 

"Try some of the rabbit," suggested the man who had dis- 
covered the place to his neighbor at the left. But the latter re- 
fused rabbit and demanded more "chidlins," while "Aunt 
Mary" disappeared into the kitchen rocking with laughter. 




/mW 



COULD TELL BY THEIR COLOR 



zA Plantation Thinner at zAunt ^hCary s 123 

"Maybe you think this doesn't carry me back," said the 
man at the head of the table as he looked at the array of corn- 
cake, rabbit, buttermilk, snouts, pig-tails, "chidlins" and 
sweet potatoes. "This is like it used to be at butchering time, 
when they couldn't keep me away from the cabins. As long as 
the snouts and ghost-stories lasted I didn't want to go home. 
Nobody on earth but a negro woman could cook this stuff so 
it would be any good. 'Aunt Mary's' been there. How about 
that?" 

" 'Deed I has," replied "Aunt Mary," from the doorway. 

At this point in the dinner a most unfortunate thing hap- 
pened. The corn-bread gave out. There was some white bread 
on the table, but white bread at a plantation dinner was simply 
out of the question. After a brief commotion around the 
kitchen stove "Aunt Mary" brought on some hot corn-cakes, 
the ingredients of which were meal and water, but they were 
done to such a delicate brown that every one declared them 
beyond criticism. 

By this time the company was many miles away from Chi- 
cago and had been on one or two 'possum hunts. The chromos 
hanging around them, the homely wall paper with its up-and- 
down streaks, the batter-cake smoke, the purr of negro voices 
in the kitchen and the rich odor of pork helped the delusion. 

The climax to the dinner was sweet potato pie with coffee. 
The Tennessee man said it was regular plantation coffee. 

As they were putting on their coats they saw in the kitchen 
two young men of "Aunt Mary's" complexion sitting close to 
the stove and watching it with apparent interest. 

"Any chidlins left for the boys?" asked the man who dis- 
covered the place. 

"Dey ain't waitin' fo' nothin' else," said "Aunt Mary." 

"Do they like them?" 

"Who? Dem boys? Caint yo' tell by de colon?" 



Mr. Benson's Experience 
with a Maniac 

BENSON was very happy when given an opportunity to 
, visit the county insane hospital at Dunning. 
As a student in a medical college he had a profes- 
sional interest in the various forms of insanity. He had read 
up on the subject, and, although he had searched only in 
books, he had an idea that he could tell by examining a brain 
whether the deceased had been responsible for his acts. 

The long words which are juggled by experts on the witness 
stand he had fully mastered and he knew the theoretical dis- 
tinction between "melancholia" and "kleptomania." 

The visit to Dunning would give him an opportunity to 
study the actual symptoms of insanity. A county commis- 
sioner with whom he had lately become acquainted invited 
him to accompany some officials who were to make a business 
call at the institution. He accepted readily. 



Arrived at the hospital, he asked more questions than all 
the other visitors put together. Upon having a case explained 
to him he would say, "H'm, suicidal intentions, etc.," or "Ah, 
yes; I understand; incipient paresis." The keepers couldn't 
contradict him. The keepers had one class into which they 
put all the inmates. They spoke of them as "nutty." 

Benson was a trifle disappointed. He saw haggard men and 
women moping along the walls, mumbling to themselves or 
giggling in feeble good-nature at the little company of awed 
visitors, but he did not see the big men who beat down iron 
doors with their bare hands and tossed keepers into the air 
while being overpowered. 

There was no particular pleasure in conversing with a trem- 
bling, pink-lipped man attired in the cheap hospital garb and 
with dark circles around his eyes, who had #175,000 in the 
First National Bank and wanted to be released right away in 
order to keep an engagement with Queen Victoria. 

124 



<iMr. Benson s Experience with a ^Maniac i 25 

Benson had the student's natural curiosity to see some 
"good cases." 

"I should like to visit the violent wards," he said to the 
assistant warden. They had strolled away from the rest of 
the party. 

"You have already seen many inmates who are violent at 
times/' replied the assistant warden. 

"I know, but I want to see the padded cells and get a look 
at some of the noisy ones that have to be tied down." 



<^%fe^ 




"Well, now, let me see. I don't believe we're having trouble 
with any of them to-day, but if there are any contrary ones 
you will find them in that ward right over there. Shall we 
go in?" 

"Certainly, I want to see everything." 

"Very well, I'll take you in, but remember one thing. Don't 
pay any attention if one of them comes up and makes a mo- 
tion as if to strike you. Just humor him and don't be scared." 

* * * 

A keeper opened the door for them, and as they stepped in 
the twenty or more inmates scattered down the corridor tun- 
nel and looked at them with that sudden and curious interest 
which one always encounters in a place where men are locked 



126 Chicago Stories 

up and cooped together. The opening of a door and the en- 
trance of a visitor bring a moment of novelty and entertain- 
ment into the humdrum existence. 

"Hello, Reub," said the assistant warden. 

Benson saw leaning against the wall, near the first barred 
window, a man of prodigious build. He was several inches 
more than six feet tall, with broad shoulders, bulging chest 
and a stumpy, muscular neck. His heavy face was impassive 
until the assistant warden spoke, and then it relaxed into a 
stupid smile. 

Benson studied him. 

"Reub" returned the steadfast gaze. 

Benson smiled in a friendly way. 

"Reub" chuckled and made peculiar gestures, as if tickling 
some imaginary person. 

Benson winked and with that "Reub" laughed aloud and 
made a rush at him. 

The assistant warden was at the other end of the room. The 
keeper who had opened the door was not looking. Luckily the 
door was still open. Benson ran and "Reub" ran after him. 

As Benson dashed through the door, closely pursued, he 
heard the keeper shout: "Stop, Reub!" The only answer was 
a yelp from the maniac. 

* * * 

Benson ran as one whose life was at stake. He was guided 
only by his terror. As he sped along the hallway he heard the 
heavy footfalls of the crazy giant, who seemed to be gaining 
at every step, and who, as he ran, kept up a hoarse gurgling 
which sometimes rose into a shriek of demoniacal laughter. 

"Help ! help !" gasped Benson, as he threw his whole weight 
against a door which suddenly appeared before him. He 
clutched the knob with both hands and wrenched it fiercely. 

Thank heaven! It flew open. He dived half-way across the 
room. 

Bang! He had upset a typewriting machine. He staggered 
and recovered himself just as the heavy frame of his pursuer 
collided with the door behind. A woman screamed. 

Benson swung himself around the end of a desk railing and 
ran blindly toward a door which promised open air. 



cJfrfr. 'Benson's Experience with a <^Caniac izy 

The maniac cleared the fallen table and typewriter with 
one bound. He screamed with exultation. 

Benson could already feel those big knotty hands at his 
throat. If he gave up all would be over in a moment. An 
aroused maniac is like a wild beast hungry for blood. 

These and a hundred other thoughts flashed through his 
mind as he bolted madly ahead. The door was ajar. He sprung 
through it, slammed it behind him and tore along a cinder 

P ath * * * * 

All this had happened within a very few seconds. Benson 
had no plan of escape. He was simply spurred on by a frenzy 
of fear, and as he reached the cinder path he heard the click 
of the latch and knew that crazy "Reub" was hardly fifteen 
feet behind him. 



The path led straight up to a doorway through which he 
bounded, and there ahead of him was a stairway. 

He had no time to look about him. 

Up the stairway he went and still the gurgles and the 
shrieks seemed to come nearer and nearer. Horrors! 

He ran blankly into a row of windows. It was ten feet to 
the ground below. Should he make a stand and fight? He had 
rushed straight ahead instead of making the turn to follow 
the stairway. 




128 Chicago Stories 

He hesitated the hundredth of a second but — crash ! He was 
through the window and to the ground below, torn, bleeding, 
but running desperately for his life. 

Then another crash and a shattering fall of glass! The 
maniac had jumped after him! 

Benson staggered as he ran and the landscape reeled before 
his eyes. What was that? Again the demon shriek — a shriek 
of triumph ; for Benson was running toward a high board fence. 

He saw it and cried aloud in awful fear, but still he ran. He 
leaped for the fence and threw one arm over it. With all his 
remaining strength he attempted to scramble to the top. 

Too late! Too late! 

He felt a hand on his back and heard a voice close to his 
ear: "You're it! You're it! Now see if you can catch me." 

Benson fell in a heap on the ground and looked with dazed 
eyes at "Reub," who was standing thirty feet away begging 
him by gestures to continue the game of "tag." 



Artie Blanchard 

ARTIE BLANCHARD went to the charity entertain- 

f--\ ment, and, as he said afterward, he had "no kick 

-a- JL comin'," although it wasn't exactly his kind of a show. 

Artie had started in at the general offices as messenger boy 
and had earned promotion on his merits. What he lacked in 
schooling he made up in good sense, industry and a knowledge 
of human nature. 

He had the reputation of being worldly, even "tough," but 
he didn't deserve it. He was simply overmasculine. If he used 
slang it was because slang helped him to express his feelings 
with greater force and directness. 

He was always interested in prize-fighting because he ad- 
mired gameness and muscular power and had both of them 
pretty well developed in his own well-knit figure. 

If he showed a disposition to "kid" on all sorts of topics it 
was because he took a cheerful and good-natured view of life 
and also gave his hearers credit for having enough perception 
to understand that he didn't mean all that he said. 



zArtie Ulanchard 



129 



Artie was well dressed, although he was inclined to follow 
his own notions as to personal adornment. He was jaunty 
rather than "swell," and like all hard-headed men he hated 
any sort of an extreme, such as a very high collar or a very 
low-cut vest. He had no evening 
dress, or "first-part clothes" as he 
called them, because he had a jovi- 
al contempt for "society" as he had 
caught glimpses of it, although he 
was on cordial terms with many 
young men who devoted all of their 
leisure time to it. 

On the other hand, he had the 
utmost respect for women. In fact, 
he held all good women in such deep 
and tender regard that he seldom 
attempted to express himself on the 
subject, holding that it was too 
sacred for the every-day fool inter- 
course of men in this world. Only to 
those who knew him well and had 
proved themselves worthy of such 
confidence did he reveal himself. 
Others, who were but partly ac- 
quainted with him, held him to be 
a person of rather low morals. 

Not that he was a drunkard or a gambler or a rowdy, but 
he lacked reverence and repose. His language was that of the 
streets, and he was an anarchist regarding so-called "good 
form." 

There is no excuse for telling so much about Artie except 
that there are so many young men of his kind in Chicago who 
combine good conduct of life and strict attention to business 
with a playful pretense to heathen depravity. 

* * * 

One day Mrs. Morton, wife of the city manager, came into 
the offices and "held up" the boys for 50 cents apiece, and 
then gave each of them a ticket to the charity entertainment 
to be given in the parlors of a certain south side church on the 




MM 



MRS. MORTON 



130 Chicago Stories 

following Wednesday evening. Artie had to "cough up," and 
he did it with apparent willingness. 

"I don't want you young men to think that I am robbing 
you of this money," said Mrs. Morton. "I want you to come 
to this entertainment. I know you'll enjoy it." 

"Blanchard can go all right," suggested Miller, with a wink 
at the man next to him. "He lives only about three blocks 
from the church." 

"Then he must come," said Mrs. Morton. "Won't you, Mr. 
Blanchard?" 

"Sure," replied Artie, blushing deeply. 

"Why, Mrs. Morton, he hasn't been in a church for three 
years," said Miller. 

"I don't believe it," and she turned to Artie, who was mak- 
ing motions to "call off" Miller. "Now, Mr. Blanchard, I want 
you to promise me faithfully that you'll come." 

"I'll be there all right," he replied, smiling feebly. 

"Remember, you've promised," and as she went out she 
shook her finger at him as a final reminder. 

"Well, are you going?" asked Miller. 

"What's it to you?" asked Artie. "Didn't you hear what I 
said to her? Sure I'm goin'. I've got as much right to go out 
and do the heavy as any o' you pin-heads. If I like their show 
I'll help 'em out next time — get a couple o' handy boys from 
Harry Gilmore's and put on a six-round go for a finish. Them 
people never saw anything good." 

"I'll bet the cigars you don't go," spoke up young Mr. Hall. 

"You'd better make it chewin' gum," replied Artie. "Next 
thing you'll be bettin' real money. You guys must think I'm a 
quitter, to be scared out by any little old church show. I don't 
think it'll be any worse than a barn fight over in Indiana." 

* * * 

"Well, I goes," said Artie, the morning after the charity 
entertainment. 

"Where?" asked Miller, who had forgotten. 

"Where? Well, that's a good thing. To the church show — 
the charity graft. I didn't do a thing but push my face in there 
about 8 o'clock last night and I was it from the start. Say, I 
like that church, and if they'll put in a punchin' bag and a 
plunge they can have my game, I'll tell you that." 



zArtie ^Blanchard 



l l l 



"Did you see Mrs. Morton?" 

"How's that, boy? Did I see her? Say, she treated me out 
o' sight. She meets me at the door, puts out the glad hand and 
says: 'Hang up your dicer and come into the game." 

"That's what she said, eh?" 

"Well, that's what she meant. She's all right, too, and the 
only wonder to me is how she ever happened to tie herself up 
to that slob. It's like hitchin' up a 
four-time winner alongside of a 
dog. He ain't in her class, not for 
a minute, a part of a minute. What 
kills me off is how all these dubs 
make their star winnin's. Why, out 
there last night I saw the measli- 
est lot of jays, regular Charley- 
boys, floatin' around with queens. 
I wish somebody'd tell me how 
they cop 'em out. Don't it kill you 
dead to see a swell girl, you know, 
a regular peach, holdin' on to some 
freak with side whiskers and 
thinkin' she's got a good thing? 
That's right. She thinks he's all 
right. Anyway, she acts the part, 
but you can't tell, because them 

fly girls know how to make a good many bluff plays. And say, 
you know Percival, that works over in the bank — little 
Percy, the perfect lady. There's a guy that I've known for 
five years and so help me if he gets on a street car where I 
am I get off and walk. That's no lie. I pass him up. I say, 
'You're all right, Percy, and you can take the car to your- 
self,' and then I duck." 




OjM 



ARTIE 



"Was he there?" 



"The whole thing! That's no kid. He was the real papa — 
the hit of the place. One on each arm, see? — and puttin' up 
the large, juicy con talk. They were beauts, too; you couldn't 
beat 'em, not in a thousand years. There they were, holdin' to 
this wart. Up goes my hands into the air and I says to myself: 
'Percy, you're all right. I wouldn't live on the same street with 
you, but you're all right at that.' But he couldn't see me." 



132 Chicago Stories 

"Couldn't see you?" 

"No, he lost his eyesight. He looked at me, but he was too 
busy to see me. No, he had on his saucy coat and that touch- 
me-not necktie, and oh, he was busy. He wasn't doin' a thing. 
I think I'll give the bank a line on Percy. Any man that wears 
that kind of a necktie hadn't ought to be allowed to handle 
money. But you ought to have seen the two he had. I'd like 
to know how he does it. I had a notion to go up to one of the 
girls and say: 'What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen any 

others?'" 

* * * 

"Did you like the show," asked Miller. 

"It's this way. They liked it and so" — with a wave of the 
hand — "let 'em have it. If they put the same turns on at the 
Olymp the people'd tear down the buildin' tryin' to get their 
coin back. Mrs. Morton got me a good seat and then back- 
capped the show a little before it opened up, so I didn't ex- 
pect to be pulled out of my chair — and I wasn't. If I'd been 
near the door I'd have sneaked early in the game, but, like a 
farmer, I let her put me way up in front. I saw I was up against 
it, so I lasted the best way I could. Two or three of the songs 
were purty fair, but the woman that trifled with the piano for 
about a half-hour was very much on the bummy bum. Then 
there was a guy called an entertainer that told some of the 
Billy Rice gags that I used to hear when my brother took me 
to the old Academy and held me on his lap. But he got 'em 
goin' just the same. Well, I says to myself, 'What'd Weber 
and Fields do to this push?' On the dead, I don't believe any 
of them people out there ever saw a good, hot variety show. 
It just goes to show that there are a lot of people with stuff 
who think they know what's goin' on in town, but they don't. 
I've got no kick comin', only it was a yellow show, and I'm 
waitin' for 45 cents change." 

"I should think you would have got the worth of your 
money simply by seeing so many good-looking girls," said 
Miller. 

"The girls are all right, only I think they're losin' their eye- 
sight. If I had time I'd go over to that church and make a lot 
o' them Reubs look like 30-cent pieces. Not that I'm strong 



"•* 



zArtie ^Blanchard 



x 33 



on the con talk, but I know I'd be in it with them fellows. I 
think it must be a case of nerve. That's all there is to 'em — is 
nerve. But the girls — wow!" 

"Fine creatures, eh ?" 

"Lallypaloozers !" 



A Story from the Back Streets 

FRIENDSHIPS are formed in all sorts of ways. Here is 
the story told by Mr. James Meers, sometimes called 
"Foxy Jim," of the manner in which he became the 
best friend of Mr. Byron Foley, often called "Pinch" Foley 
by his intimate acquaintances: 

"An' I sez to him, squarin' off an' bringin' my fis' down on 
the bar, I sez, 'You're a liar.' Them's the same i-dentical 
words. 

"'You're a liar,' I sez, 'an' w'ats more you're nutty,' I sez. 

"Wid that he backs off an' lams at me wid his bones. 

'"I'm a liar, am I?' sez he. 'Will yuh eat it?' sez he. 

"'No,' sez I, fer I wuz gettin' red headed. 

"Bot' of us had been drinkin' some, but we w'an't loaded. 

"Then he comes at me wid a drive in the neck. 

'"Take that,' sez he. 

"I sheers off, brings up me right an' lams 'im in his blinkers. 

"'You're a liar,' sez I. 

"Then he grabs me under me arms an' tries to do the grape- 
vine. But I wuz onto 'im. I knuckles his t'roat an' lams 'im 
one in the ear. 

"He sheers off an' feints at me wid his right. 

"A feller grabs him. 

"'Hoi' up,' he sez. 

"Anodder feller grabs me. 

'"Let me git at 'im,' sez I. 'He's a liar,' sez I. 'An' nutty,' 
sez I. 

"Wid that I breaks away an' lams 'im. The feller interferes. 

"Then I wuz crazy. 

"I sheers off an' comes at the feller wid me lef. He gits nex' 



134 



Chicago Stories 




HOW MR. MEERS AND MR. FOLEY BECAME FRIENDS 

me breast an' the other feller lams 'im. Then I grabs 'im an' 
he breaks to the feller's neck. Wid that I grabs th' other feller. 
Just as I was knuckling 'im he comes at me from behin'. 

"Then we all went to the floor togedder. Me head wuz in a 
spittoon, but I wuz knucklin' 'im an' callin' 'im all sorts of 
fools. 

"Then we wuz pulled apart. 

"'Wat yer mixin' fer?' says the bar-kip. 

"'He's a liar,' sez I. 'An' nutty,' sez I. 

'"Wat's he nutty fer?' sez the feller. 

"I'm rubed 'f I could remember — bot' of us wuz leary. 

"So I done the han'some. I sez to him: T didn' call you no 
liar,' I sez. 



zA Story from the "Back Streets i 3 5 

""At's right,' he sez; 'an' yuh didn't say nothin' 'bout 
nutty?' he sez. 

"'No,' sez I. 'What'll yuh have to drink?' sez I. 
"An' sinst then me'n him's been good frien's." 



Sophie's Sunday Afternoon 

SOPHIE slipped out into the sunlight through the big oak 
side door of Mr. Hamilton Jefferson's residence and 
walked down the crooked path to the gateway, hum- 
ming a little tune to herself. 

Sophie was Mrs. Hamilton Jefferson's girl and Mrs. Hamil- 
ton Jefferson was proud of her. When there was a tea and 
Sophie in her puckered cap and dainty apron flitted about 
with the salvers Mrs. Hamilton Jefferson would lean forward 
and say to her guests behind her pudgy hand: 

"She's a jewel of a girl and she sews beautifully. No, no, 
you can't have her at any price." 

During all the week Sophie was just Sophie and she con- 
versed with nodded "Yes m'm's" and "No m'm's," as any 
well-trained girl would do. 

But on Sunday afternoon as soon as the dishes shone on the 
shelves of the china closet Sophie became Miss Sophie Johnson 
and she walked out of Mrs. Hamilton Jefferson's domain into 
a world of her own. 

Sophie couldn't help humming. It was something to get out 
into the spring sunlight with a whole afternoon and the sav- 
ings of a week to spend. And Sophie had a new hat — and 
wasn't that enough to make any girl hum? It was a mere bit 
of a thing — a knot of blue ribbons, a queer little twisted body 
and a red rose on a long stem nodding a perpetual "how-d'y- 
do" above it. The hat was perched on Sophie's yellow hair 
combed back straight and smooth and wound in a tight little 
knot at the back of her head. 

Sophie wore a pink dress with ribbon bows playing hide and 
seek all over it, and a belt of leather with a shiny buckle, and 
her skirts kept up a bustling as she walked. Sophie's shoes 



I 3 6 Chicago Stories 

were new and squeaky and they hurt her a little, too, but she 
wouldn't have admitted it for anything. 

Sophie's face — a round, pink and white dumpling of a face — 
beamed out from under her parasol with a soap and water 
freshness and a consciousness of looking very well indeed. 

When Sophie had walked several blocks she met a young 
man on the sidewalk. 

He stopped and smiled. 

Now Sophie looked very much surprised. She had never 
expected to see Mr. Carl Lindgren out there. 

"Good-day," he said. 

"Good-day," she answered. 

Then they shook hands. 

Sophie blushed a little. So did Mr. Carl Lindgren. 

Presently he said something about Humboldt Park, and 
Sophie laughed and nodded her head. Then she put her hand 
with its silk mitt — a very neat silk mitt it was, too, only a 
little old-fashioned — on his arm and they walked down the 
street together under one parasol. 

Mr. Carl Lindgren worked in a factory and he had bought 
ten shares of stock in a building and loan association in Chi- 
cago Avenue with his savings, for Carl belonged to a frugal, 
hard-working race, and he was thinking of getting married. 

Carl's mustache — the color of raveled rope — bristled with 
much brushing and his brown derby tilted back on his yellow 
hair. He wore a shiny celluloid collar and a flat tie — one of the 
kind crocheted from silk twist and presented by way of the 
Christmas tree. His coat had been pressed until it shone and 
the corner of a red silk handkerchief looked out with artful 
carelessness from his breast pocket. A huge watch-chain with 
a heavy fob dangled from his vest and a dandelion was stuck 
in his buttonhole. 

They walked to North Avenue and took the electric cars. 
The car bumped along past the rows of small stores and houses 
with the Sunday crowds strolling up and down the sidewalks 
in front. There were children everywhere, romping, shouting 
and playing, many of them bare-headed. 

At last they reached the park. The trees were just leafing 
out, the grass was green and inviting, with little patches of 



■MM 



Sophie f s Sunday ^Afternoon 



J 37 




£4fri0O%fel 



THEY WALKED TO NORTH AVENUE 



dandelions yellowing it here and there. Crowds of people, men, 
women and children, streamed into the park past the saloons, 
peanut stands and photograph galleries which cluster around 
its entrance. 

Sophie and Carl strolled along arm in arm. They didn't 
have much to say — not yet, at least. 



I 3 8 Chicago Stories 

Now they were walking hand in hand. Carl had picked up 
Sophie's handkerchief and in returning it had forgotten to let 
go of her fingers. And Sophie didn't say a word. 

The path led to the pavilion, the broad verandas of which 
swirled with children and young girls chewing gum and young 
men joking with them. In the lagoon boats, unevenly rowed, 
dragged about, splashing the water. 

They sat down at a table in the basement. 

"What will you have?" said Carl. 

"Chocolate," said Sophie. 

"One chocolate an' one wanilla," ordered Carl. 

Then the waiter rushed to the counter where a man with 
the perspiration rolling down his face was dishing ice cream, 
twirling cakes across the counter and drawing sizzling soda 
water with almost frantic rapidity. 

Carl and Sophie didn't say much. Sophie fingered her little 
handkerchief and Carl watched her out of the tail of his eye. 
Once she caught him at it and they both laughed. Carl took 
some money out of his pocket and paid the waiter with a little 
flourish. Sophie looked at him admiringly. 



Just as they were going out Carl spied a fortune-telling ma- 
chine — a gypsy with pointing finger and a knowing look. Carl 
produced some pennies and Sophie thrust one of them into the 
slot. The gypsy girl whirled around dizzily and finally stopped 
with her finger pointing to the words : 



YOU ARE NEARER GREAT DANGER 
THAN YOU ARE AWARE. 



Sophie looked serious. 

"I wonder what it is," she said. 

"That's a bad fortune," answered Carl. "Try again/ 

The next penny brought better luck: 



Sophie s Sunday ^Afternoon 



J 39 



AN UNKNOWN LOVER ADORES YOU. 



Carl laughed and Sophie blushed. 

"It tells lies," said Sophie. 

Then Carl tried. The gypsy bluntly pointed to the words 



YOU ARE IN LOVE. 



"'At's the truth," said Carl, without looking at Sophie. 

* * * 

Then they went out and walked along the path until they 
came to a popcorn booth. Here Carl bought a big sticky ball 
for 5 cents, and he and Sophie went to a grassy spot on the 
bank of a lagoon and sat down to eat it. A boy not far away 
was dangling his bare legs in the water and some little girls 
were rolling about on the grass. Ducks and swans nodded as 
they swam in the lagoon. In the middle of a shawl sat a baby, 
with her father and mother paying court to her not far away. 

Carl talked now pretty steadily, but in a low tone, so that 
no one but Sophie could hear him. Here are some of the things 
which Sophie answered him: 

"So?" 

"Et's too bad about you!" 

"Now, behave." 

"Don't you tease." 

"Sure." 

When the popcorn was all gone Carl wanted Sophie to go 
boat-riding. Sophie said she was afraid. So they walked 
through the greenhouse and Sophie told Carl something about 
the flowers. 



14° Chicago Stories 

Then they walked, hand in hand, swinging their arms just 
a little, down to North Avenue and went into one of the pho- 
tographers' tents with the pictures hung in tempting array 
outside. Here a busy, nervous man seated Sophie in a chair, 
tipped her chin a little back and folded her hands. Sophie 
pulled off one mitt so that a ring would show. Then Carl stood 
up behind, put one of his big hands on Sophie's shoulder and 
the other behind him. Then he advanced one foot and looked 
up. 

"Now look pleasant," said the busy, nervous man. 

He clicked the plates into the camera, thrust his head under 
the curtain, jerked it out and pulled the slide. 

"All right," he shouted, and then shot into his little dark- 
room. 

Sophie drew a long sigh and Carl smiled reassuringly at her. 

* * 3|C 

An hour later Carl and Sophie were hurrying from the park. 
A great black cloud reached out of the west and a stiff wind 
was blowing. 

Sophie and Carl had been so much occupied that they had 
not noticed the coming rain. Just before they reached North 
Avenue a few big drops began to fall and they made a wild 
race for the car. But Sophie was laughing and holding fast to 
Carl's hand. By the time the car stopped at their street the 
shower was at its height. 

Sophie and Carl crowded under the parasol and hurried 
down the dripping street. When they reached the residence of 
Mr. Hamilton Jefferson Sophie's skirts were soaking wet and 
her hair flew about her face. She had covered her new bonnet 
with her handkerchief so that it was fairly dry. The coloring 
from her parasol had dripped down Carl's neck and his coat 
was bedraggled and shapeless. 

For a moment they paused in the entry where no one could 
see them. Then Carl came out with his face beaming and 
walked away regardless of the rain. 



Olof Lindstrom Goes Fishing 

OLOF LINDSTROM was going fishing. All winter long 
he had worked at his bench in the cabinet-shop. He 
made carved bureau tops from day's end to day y s end. 
It was a hard, monotonous life — earn and spend, eat and sleep, 
week in and week out. 

Olof was a little pale faced man, with a straw-colored mus- 
tache. On weekdays he wore a faded brown derby, white with 
sawdust. On Sunday, when he and his family went to the 
Lutheran Church in the next street, he changed it for a neat 
black derby, his coat was as smooth as Mrs. Lindstrom's flat- 
iron could make it and the corner of a silk handkerchief thrust 
itself into notice from his breast pocket. 

The idea of going fishing had come to him suddenly, as it 
had done every spring for years. Perhaps it was the compelling 
sunshine that opened the doors of the wooden cottages and 
brought the children and the pet puppies swarming to the 
sidewalk, or, perhaps, it was merely the inherited instinct of a 
man whose fathers and grandfathers in Norway calked their 
fishing smacks each spring and mended their carp nets as soon 
as the sun had opened the rugged coves on the coast. 

* * * 

It was Saturday night. Olof had secured a fishing pole and 
bait. He was just setting out. 

"To-morrow is Sunday," said Mrs. Lindstrom, as if warn- 
ing him to be back in time. 

Olof did not answer. He was going fishing and the fish were 
hungriest an hour before sunrise. 

Oak Street runs as far as the lake wall with all the paved 
and guttered respectability of a great city thoroughfare. But 
eastward from the Lake Shore Drive it pitches off into a waste 
of ash-piles and garbage heaps which have usurped a part of 
the domain of Lake Michigan. Here it meanders around in an 
aimless, lawless way with a self-made, independent air, as if 
in contempt of the general orderliness and conventionality of 
city life. 

Just at dark Olof followed Oak Street out among thegarbage 

141 



142 Chicago Stories 

piles. It was with a feeling of rebellious freedom that he left 
behind the carved bureau tops and Mrs. Lindstrom's strident 
voice. At the extreme point in the bumpy expanse of desert 
he found a newly dumped pile of paper, rags and broken boxes, 
and he set it afire. Then he builtup a seatfrom someold bricks 
and a board and sat down with his face to the blaze, which he 
occasionally encouraged with a broken barrel hoop. There was 
not a human being within shouting distance, not even a police- 
man. Although the spot was hardly half a mile from the Lake 
Shore Drive it was quite as lonely as an African jungle. 

Darkness settled down and every audible reminder of city 
life, except the intermittent screeching of tugboats, was 
drowned out by the thumping and mumbling of the waves 
among the ragged rows of piling. The lighthouse reflector be- 
gan to wink crimson and yellow over the black stretch of water. 
A few dim squares and specks of light with a smudge of black 
above them, crawling along apparently through space, indi- 
cated the course of vessels outbound on their first voyage of 
the season. The city was a wall of black from north to south, 
with a few towers, spires and the huge bulk of a great building 
or two extending into the murky blue sky, where the moon 
hung — Olof didn't often have an opportunity to see the moon. 
He didn't care much about it either — it was only one of the 
things that united to make up a stolid sense of freedom, which 
he could not have explained. A long row of electric lights along 
the lake shore appeared like holes in the dark wall — as if the 
city blazed beyond. 

A stiff, chilly wind sprang up as night deepened, and Olof 
set up a plank at his back and then sat quietly, unthinkingly 
watching the burning bits of paper scurry over the garbage 
heaps whenever he stirred the fire. Occasionally he nibbled a 
cracker from a bundle which he had brought with him. 

Toward morning he grew cold and had to run up and down 
a hardened ash pile to keep warm. The wind cut through his 
thin clothing and pinched his shop-faded face. He had not 
dreamed that it would blow so cold. 

At last, when the moon had gone down behind the water- 
works tower and a faint gray streak of light cut the lake hori- 
zon, Olof baited his hook with a minnow from the pail and 



Olof Lindstrom (foes Fishing 1 4 3 



|!E,iB 




THE CITY WAS A WALL OF BLACK FROM NORTH TO SOUTH 



crawled carefully to the outer row of piling. Here he mounted, 
shivering with cold, and cast his line. The waves still beat 
heavily and the spray dashed up and drenched him. 

At the end of half an hour he had caught one little perch, 
and half of his bait was gone. But the keen delight of watching 
that fish squirm on the bank was worth a great deal of misery — 
it gave him more pleasure than a thousand carved bureau tops. 

An hour later the sun came up over the rim of the lake and 



144 Chicago Stories 

laid a ladder of gold across the water. But Olof didn't notice 
it — he felt a nibble at his line. He had never learned to revere 
sunrises — the nibble of a fish was ecstasy enough. 

* * * 

Later the church bells began to ring for early mass. For a 
moment they made Olof feel guilty and uncomfortable, but 
his joy was restored by catching a second fish, a shade larger 
than the first. He was still wet and chilly, and he knew that 
the twinges in his knees meant rheumatism. 

At ten o'clock the sun blazed high and hot. The reflection 
in the water blinded the eyes of the solitary fisher and burned 
his face. At noon, after an endless series of nibbles, he caught 
one more fish and then his bait was gone. He felt hungry and 
tired, too — it had been a long night without a wink of sleep. 
His head ached. 

Olof strung the three little fishes on a splinter and dragged 
himself back over the garbage heaps and ash-piles with his 
fish-pole on his shoulder. He met throngs of well-dressed people 
on their way home from church. He thought they looked at 
him chidingly for breaking the sabbath, and so he walked with 
his eyes cast down. 

3ft 3fC 3(C 

When Olof reached his home he found his wife in a temper. 
He laid the three little fish on the table as a peace-offering, 
but she only scolded him roundly. She said it was a shame, 
and that every one of the neighbors would be talking about 
him before the day was over. 

"Can't a man have a little time to himself?" he said to her 
meekly in Norwegian. She did not deign to answer him. 

The next day he went back to his bench and the carved 
bureau tops. He had a cold in the head and painful twinges of 
rheumatism in his knees. His face was red and sore with sun- 
burn and his eyes saw green. 

Yet he knew that if he was alive another spring he would 
go fishing again — even on Sunday if necessary. 

It was in his blood. 



The Glory of Being a Coachman 

TWICE a year Chicago puts on display the best that it 
has of shiny vehicles, good horses and correct men in 
livery. 

The Derby day parade is full of color and bright finery and 
is witnessed by thousands of spectators. 

At the annual charity ball the equipages file along the Con- 
gress Street side of the Auditorium and are seen for a minute 
or two as they pass through the glare of electric light. The 
spectators are a few idle men and boys held back at a respectful 
distance and a faithful band of embarrassed policemen with 
white gloves. Between the hours of 9 and 1 1 practically all the 
swell winter turnouts of the town may be seen in front of the 
broad doorway. It is too bad that so much splendor is wasted. 

The men "up" were white-legged and tight-coated on Derby 
day. Now they are hidden under top-coats and furs, but it is 
evident that under it all they are sitting bolt upright and pre- 
serving an unbroken dignity, even with the wind in their faces. 
* * * 

When the landaus, broughams and opera 
buses have been unloaded they drive away to 
return no more that night. 

It has been found impossible to "call car- 
riages" and send people home in their own con- 
veyances when the hundreds in attendance at 
the ball suddenly determine to go home. The 
people are sent home in carriages furnished by 
the livery concerns. These are loaded in the 
order that they come, and when a carriage has 
delivered one party it comes back for another. /taiV& 

The midnight display is of plain black vehi- 
cles, blanketed horses and impatient drivers with buck gloves, 
ulsters and fur caps. 

Between these drivers and those who come earlier there is a 
natural enmity and a natural contempt. 

The genuine coachman does not regard the driver with the 
fur cap and red mustache as entitled to consideration. 

145 




146 



Chicago Stories 




Qjyur 



THIS IS THE OPERA BUS 



The drivers from the stables pity the private coachmen who 
are compelled to wear high hats and can't talk back. 

When these two distinct classes are brought into contact, 
as on opera nights, they hold themselves haughtily apart. 

The opera bus is grow- 
ing in favor. It is a minia- 
ture of the passenger bus 
in general design, but 
with a mirror finish and 
upholsterings of leather 
and plush. The seats, ex- 
tending the length of the 
interior, face each other 
and afford comfortable 
space for six persons. 

There were eight of the 
opera buses in the glitter- 
ing line on charity-ball 
night. Gen. Torrence and 
a party came in one of 
unusually elaborate finish. The buses cost from $1,200 to 
$2,500 each. There are seats on top, and when the windows 
are removed it is a correct summer turnout. 

Chicago has been rather slow in adopting this style of turn- 
out, which has been quite the thing in New York for two 
seasons. 

No one can blame the private coachman for being austere 
and a trifle proud. He is more finely appareled than his em- 
ployer inside the brougham. 

It cost more to attire the coachman and make him ready 
for the box than it did to prepare the owner for the charity 
ball. 

On the modern proposition that money has conversational 
powers the coachman is deserving of consideration. 

That box-cloth top coat which he wears cost $95. It has 
four capes on it. A plain coat with no capes would have cost 
$65. His body coat underneath cost, to be exact, just $38. The 
trousers cost $14. He wears a silk hat of approved shape and 
standard make, cost $7, and the fur collarette to protect his 



The Cjlory of 'Being a Coachman 



H7 



head and ears cost a trifling $12. Allowing #15 for the boots 
and fur gloves and another $5 for incidental haberdashery, 
and it can be computed that the coachman is wearing #186 
worth of costume. 

The footman beside him is similarly decked out. 

There must be a footman if the excess of good form is to be 
preserved. 

The coachman who wears a cap in any kind of weather is 
properly shunned by his associates. 

The silk hat must be the invariable headwear, and the col- 
larette is supposed to protect the ears. Those who know say 
that under no circumstances should the rosette or cockade be 
worn on the hat. 

Only a few years ago this ornament was very common in 
Chicago, but it has since been learned to the satisfaction of 
inquiring minds that only the liveried servants of royalty are 
privileged to adopt it. It is said that but two men in Chicago 
cling to the cockade in the coachman's hat. 

Both have lately acquired wealth — one in a mercantile way 
and the other by means of the fitful roulette wheel. 
* * * 

There are between 
forty and fifty swell and 
absolutely correct coach- 
men in Chicago. With 
hardly an exception they 
are English or Irish by 
birth, and most of them 
were in New York for a 
time before coming to 
Chicago. 

These are genuine 
coachmen of the first 
guild. They hold nothing 
in common with the 
coachman who helps with the horses, does errands and per- 
haps runs the lawn-mower occasionally. 

The coachman who grows any beard except the small patch 
of side-whisker in front of each ear, who wears any article of 




SOMETHING QUITE CORRECT 



148 



Chicago Stories 




A MOMENT UNDER 
THE ELECTRIC GLARE 



headgear save the freshly 
ironed hat, who sits 
round-shouldered on the 
box and looks to the right 
and left— these are called 
"farmers." 

A coachman who is 
married is usually given 
apartments for his fam- 
ily. He boards himself, 
and his pay is from $75 
to #100 a month. The sin- 
gle coachman receives 
from #35 to #65 a month 
in addition to his room 
and board. Aside from 
driving, his only work is 
washing the vehicles and seeing that they are kept in first- 
class order. An inexperienced or careless man is never al- 
lowed to wash one of the carriages. 

In a stable such as that maintained by Gen. Torrence, 
Potter Palmer or P. D. Armour, Jr., there are four men con- 
stantly employed. 

The coachman and the "second man" or footman are the 
only ones who can appear on a turn-out. The stablemen and 
grooms care for the horses. 

One of the questions that have more or less agitated those 
who have a reverence for good form is whether the colored 
coachman will do. 

Both London and New York have de- 
cided that the coachman must be white 
and newly shaved, but there are families 
of influence that stand out against this 
edict. 

George M. Pullman and the Lynches 
of Chicago still retain colored coachmen, 
who, however, are attired in the English 
pattern of livery. Mr. Pullman employs 
only colored servants at his big estab- ^sdil^' 




The Cjlory of Being a Coachman 149 

lishment in Prairie Avenue. The Pullmans and the Lynches are 
said to be the only families in the swell set of millionaires 
that have not engaged British servants. 

The several hundred well-to-do families, each of which has 
its carriage and its man-of-all-work, do not discriminate so 
closely as to the birth and accent of the coachman. 

The carriages passing before the Auditorium had men of 
varying nationalities and costumes on the boxes, but there 
was no mistaking when one of the "real" kind came up. 

* * * 

It might be expected that after a crowd of 3,000 persons 
had deserted the Auditorium there would be many lost articles 
gathered up. 

After each of the two balls earlier in the season inquiries 
were made for lost diamonds, fans, lace handkerchiefs and 
the like. 

The total amount of losses was several hundreds of dollars 
and only a few of the articles were found and returned to the 
owners. 

At the last annual ball the only articles found after the 
crowd had gone away were a pair of rubbers and a white glove. 
These remained unclaimed. The only additional loss reported 
was that of a lace handkerchief. 

Apparently the city detectives in evening dress effectively 
protected the diamond-laden women. One of the entertaining 
sights of the charity ball is that of the jeweled woman closely 
shadowed by the "fly cop" in evening dress. The "fly cop" 
cannot disguise himself, and therefore the jewels are safe. 



Chicago High Art Up to Date 




*HE epidemic at present raging among art 
students of Chicago made its appearance in 
a virulent form about one year ago. 

There had been a few scattered cases be- 
fore that time, but the malady had not taken 
a firm hold and the bacilli were not yet gen- 
erally distributed. 

The disease should be known as "Beards- 
leyism," although its victims generally re- 
gard it as high art, up to date. Aubrey 
Beardsley, a young Englishman, deliberately 
started the trouble and succeeded in having 
himself talked about and imitated, which is practically the 
same as being successful. 

Something like his pictures had been carved on the walls of 
the temple of Luxor many centuries ago. Japanese artists who 
decorated fans and vases had anticipated his style to a degree 
and generations of amateurs in all ages and countries made 
pictures of men with necks too long and bodies too short and 
whiskers done in scroll-work — little suspecting how near they 
had come to greatness. 

* * * 
The old-fashioned way of learning to draw pictures was to 
study perspective, light and shade, exact form, anatomy and 
a few other things. Students went to the Art Institute and 
sketched for hours at a time to get Hercules absolutely cor- 
rect, with every tracery of muscle shown. 

They studied the ancient models of statuary and the paint- 
ings which revealed the speaking likenesses of men and women. 
That was before the malady appeared. Mr. Beardsley's 
pictures came along and the traditions of thirty centuries were 
shattered. 

The new kind of art demonstrated that a woman's neck is 
shaped like a letter S, that the waist may be thin to nothing- 
ness, that the hair may radiate from the head in rigid ringlets, 
that the feet may be of the outline of pruning hooks. 

150 



Chicago High *Art Up to T>ate 



iS 1 



Mr. Beardsley's strongest "things" consisted of great dashes 
of circling black lines with a pair of frightened eyes peering 
through the bubbling mass of spaghetti. 

There were hands which had three tines each, like a fork, 
and there were figures which careened sidewise in violation of 
all known laws of gravity and had apparently been dried over 
a barrel. 

This is not an art criticism. It is a simple account of the 
kind of pictures that allured the amateurs. They found that 
to be great they must forget all about anatomy, proportion or 
laws of light and shade, and let their imagination run amuck 
in circles and streaks of black. 

The amateur who had despaired of becoming an illustrator 
suddenly learned that he or she could be a genius. In the new 
school it was possible for 
any student to draw 
things which were per- 
fectly unintelligible. 

One young man in Chi- 
cago adopted the bold- 
ness of the style, elimi- 
nated the utter insanity, 
utilized the decorative ef- 
fect of striking contrast, 
and, by reason of the fad, 
made a reputation as a 
designer, bringing some 
good out of the mess of 
evil. 

But the ordinary vic- 
tim of the epidemic was 
content to follow the 
weird suggestions of Mr. 
Beardsley. If it were an 
ear to be drawn he made it come to a point on top. Why? Be- 
cause an ear isn't shaped like a Bartlett pear, and to draw it 
so suggests original conception. Besides, do the critics know 
that when the artist looks at the human ear it doesn't appear 
to him to be shaped like a pear? 




SKETCHING FROM A MODEL 



J 5 2 



Chicago Stories 



Those stricken by the epidemic love to make pictures of 
cats — cats with bodies too long, with black pegs for legs and 
fish-spears for tails. Of course no cat ever had a fish-spear 
where the tail should be and probably is. The fish-spear notion 
is a flash of genius. 

Be different. That's the motto of all who are taken down. 
At all times be so different that people laugh at your pictures. 
Then you have not only genius, but genius persecuted for 
art's sake. 

"They'll come around in time," said an instructor. "Just 
now they're drawing shell-eyed women with worms in their 
hair, but they'll get over that all right. Most of them will. 
Others will have to be cared for. We had something of the 
same trouble when Oscar Wilde came over here." 




€3^ , 



Wi 



THE CONDUCTOR OF THE CAR 



. 



How 'Tick" Caught the 
"Battle-Row" 

ONE day the regular patron of the shop was in the high 
chair having his shoes cleaned by Pickett, or "Pick" 
for short, when there entered a colored boy with a 
nose of exceeding breadth and two thick lips, betokening a 
strictly African ancestry. 

"Pick" dropped his piece of flannel and asked, "Did you 
get 'em, Cla'ence?" 

"I got 'em, sho' enough, but I don't tink yo' caught." 
"G'on boy, g'on; I jus' got to ketch. I had 'em right." 
"Pick" reached out a bony hand, the wrinkled crevices of 
which seemed dusty white, and took from "Cla'ence" a scrap 
of yellow paper on which were three rows of figures in pencil. 
He carried the paper over to where the light fell from the 
street above and slowly whispered the numbers, one after an- 
other: "Fo'teen comes in Henry an' ole seven's theah — been 
theah eve' day fo' week — and six'-six — yes, seh, and theah's 
fo'ty-two in Frankfo't — Hm-m-m, dawg gone it. I didn' ketch 
aftah all. All my numbahs was theah, but not in the same 
book. Two paten' leathah shines gone." 

Then with a sudden realization that he was neglecting his 
work he hurried back to the regular patron, who had been 
listening as if puzzled. 

"What's the matter, Pick?" 
"Nothin, seh, nothin; only I didn't ketch." 
"What did yo' have — a ticket in a lottery?" 
"Pick" turned toward the regular patron a grinning face, 
expressive of both surprise and amused pity. He chuckled 
deeply a few times and then said: 
"Policy, seh." 

"Oh, that's so — policy shops; I've heard of them." 
"Pick" ran the brush around the heel and brought it back 
again, as he remarked, apparently to the shoe, that he had 
"he'rd of 'em, too." 

"But I thought they were all closed," said the patron. 

153 



■ 



J 54 



Chicago Stories 



"I nevah knew the time I couldn't git action fo' my bit. 
One place around the cornah, three or fo' down on the levee 
and some mo' way out on State." 

The patron became interested and asked many questions. 
He was as ignorant as the average citizen concerning the 
game which is played daily by hundreds of people, mostly of 
dark complexion. 

"Pick" confided to him that there were three books known 
as the "Frankfort," "Henry" and "Kentucky," and that the 
drawings took place twice a day at Louisville and the num- 
bers were telegraphed to the main office in Chicago and then 
sent by messengers to the different "shops." 
In each book there are seventy-eight numbers. 
At the morning drawing twelve of the seventy-eight num- 
bers are drawn from a revolving cylinder and at night thirteen 
are drawn. 

The player must have faith. All that he really knows is that 
twice a day the lists of numbers are sent to the shop where he 
plays. If he plays three numbers in the Frankfort book and 
those three numbers come out in the lucky twelve he gets 

$9.50 for 5 cents. Playing three 
numbers is called a "gig." 

He can play four numbers, 
and if three come out he gets 
#4.87 for 5 cents. 

The "saddle" play is on two 
numbers, and if the two num- 
bers are drawn he gets 45 cents. 
If he can guess the first num- 
ber drawn he wins the "capi- 
tal" $20 prize. The "capital- 
saddle" play is to guess at the 
first two numbers, and the prize 
is $40, the highest for a 5-cent 
play. 

On the ordinary "gigs" and 
"saddles" it is not necessary to 
catch the numbers in the order 
in which they come from the 




HE THOUGHT THEY WERE CLOSED 



How "Tick" Caught the '"Battle-Row" 1 5 5 



come 
of 




IT CAME IN THE WRONG BOOK 



wheel. If the speculator puts 5 
cents on the "lice row," I, 2% 
and all three numbers 
out in the afternoon draw 
thirteen he gets #9.50. 

The regular patron slowly 
began to grasp the intricacies 
of the game, although Pick- 
ett's explanations were always 
clouded by technical phrases 
and references to "splits," 
"gigs" and "saddles." 

"I don't see how the people 
who run the thing can make 
any money," observed the pa- 
tron one day. 

"Huh ! Ev'y hotel an' resta'nt 
'roun' here chips in a few dol- 

lahs. Cullud boys will take a chance. Ole people, too, an' 
plenty o' white folks. It counts up, suah. A cullud man has a 
dream an' he's got to play it — he's got to." 

"What's the dream got to do with it?" 

"Pick" stopped short in his work and said: "Well, sah, yo' 
ceht'nly don't know the game. Las' night I dreamt about a 
new paih o' pants, and to-day I plays fifty-fo'ty-thuhty-two. 
Tha's the pants row." 

"How can you tell?" 

"Pick" reached back into the drawer where he kept a re- 
serve supply of blacking and brushes and brought out a small 
thumb-worn volume marked "Dream Book." He turned the 
pages until he came to the right place and then showed: 
"Pants — If you are going to lend money be careful. 50-40- 

The dream book, which is guide and friend to every policy- 
player, had an alphabetical list of objects which may appear in 
dreams, and every one of them had its corresponding number. 

The graveyard rabbit, the full moon, the tombstone show- 
ing sickly white in the dusk, the gush of blood (5-10-40), the 
fierce dog (4-50, a "saddle") , the bouquet of flowers ( 1-29-63) , 
the burning of a building (3 1-36-77) — all had their meanings. 



156 Chicago Stories 

When next the regular patron climbed to the chair he asked 
"Pick" about the "pants" combination and received the star- 
tling information that 50 and 32 had come in Kentucky and 
40 in Frankfort, so that if 40 had been in Kentucky instead 
of in Frankfort, Pickett would have received #9.50 for his 15 
cents. 

He had been strong in the faith and had played 5 cents in 
each book. 

* ijc a|e 

"Pick" was not discouraged, however. 

He had dreamed of money the night before, and was about 
to play a "greenback row" (1 2-1 8-44-61) which was not set 
down in the book but had been given to him in confidence by 
a friend who resided in Armour Avenue, who had received it 
from a lucky barber, with a record of two "gigs" and a 
"capital." 

"What's a policy-shop like?" asked the patron. 

"Jus' a small room an' a man theah to copy down yo' 
numbahs, an' some mo' settin' roun' seein' what's come 
up." 

"What do you mean by that?" 

"Well, seh, they keeps the drawin's in books, an' yo' can 
tell jus' what numbahs been comin' out. If some numbahs is 
comin' strong day after day mebbe theah good to play. Theah's 
always some one theah lookin' up the run." 

"Where is this shop that you go to every day?" 

" 'Scuse me, seh, but I'd rathah not reveal the whe'bouts. 
It's been pulled several times, an' mos' the playin' now's done 
by a few that takes in money fo' the othahs." 

The patron said he might want to play some time. "Pick" 
informed him that when he made his first play he should play 
his birthday numbers. 

"Now, when was yo' born?" he asked. 

"I was born May 14, 1863." 

"What's the numbah of May? — le'me see— Janua'y, Feb- 
ua'y " 

"May's the fifth month." 

"Then yo' play five, fo'teen, sixty-three." 

And the patron thanked him for the advice. 



How "Tick" Caught the ""Battle -Row" 157 

There was a new man at the bootblack chair. 

He was young and smooth-headed instead of old and kinked 
with gray. 

"Where's Pick?" asked the patron. 

"Boss give it to 'im." 

"Too much policy?" 

The new man looked up in astonishment. 

"Who tole you about it? Why, Thu'sday he ketches the 
battle row fo' nine plunks an' didn't show up heah o' at home 
fo' two days. Eatin' young pig and sweet potatoes 'long Cla'k 
Street and drinkin' nothin' but. Say, he were good — couldn't 
stop him. I s'pose he'll get work somewheres. Nothin' the 
mattah with that battle row. I'm aftah that myself." 



Life on a River Tug 

CfG ago there was an eddy in the Chicago River. It was 
caused by an ill-advised effort on the part of the north 
branch to beat the south branch to the lake. In the 
course of a few centuries, at a time when centuries didn't count, 
the eddy wore a bay in the earthy bank about the place where 
people would cross the Franklin Street bridge if there was one. 
Then Chicago sprouted in a patch of rag weed and prairie 
grass, and after awhile the river became a vast sewer, and was 
compelled to submit to the indignity of being sucked upstream 
as if it were a mere gutter rivulet. 

But the eddy bay still remains as an evidence that the river 
once had powers of its own. It was a nick in the dock between 
a huge elevator on one side and a jutting piece of land known 
to rivermen as "the point," which is heaped with coal and 
rough building stone. The nick has really no good reason for 
existing, and some day when Chicago has another season of 
overflowing its edges like a honeymoon pie some outreaching 
corporation will fill it with piling, build a great factory or ele- 
vator over it, and posterity will never know that the river 
once had energy enough to make an eddy of its own. 

Waiting that day the nick serves as a stall for the herd of 



1^8 Chicago Stories 

river tugboats when they come snorting homeward at the end 
of a long day's work to thrust their noses against the friendly 
dock. A single gaunt tie-post, its sides corrugated with the 
sawing strain of innumerable tie lines, stands sentinel at the 
apex of the nick. The first arrival of the day hitches to it and 
the next comer slides alongside and ties, and this is continued 
until the tugs lie in a solid mass like a pile of link sausages. 
Here they are within call of the tug-owners' offices across the 

* * * 

But it is only occasionally that a tug may rest in the nick, 
for tugs and their crews, like firemen, are supposed to be al- 
ways on duty. They work as many hours out of every twenty- 
four as there are tows, and their Sundays and holidays all 
come in a bunch during the winter months. Yet, despite their 
hardships, the necessity of sleeping in such close proximity to 
the filth of the Chicago River and eating when there isn't any- 
thing else to do, there is hardly a healthier class of men in the 
city than the tugboat crews. 

In spring, as soon as the ice has dropped the filth accumu- 
lations of the winter into the water below, the big men crawl 
out of their winter quarters, a little pale and gaunt, like a bear 
that has hibernated in a hollow log, and sit along the docks 
whistling and waiting. They are brawny men, men of quick 
decision, and most of them know every shoal and every tie- 
post from the lighthouse slip to the eddies at Bridgeport. So 
they wait, confident that some tug will come along and pick 
them up. Of course, there are more men than the boats can 
use — there are always two men for every position in the world 
— and some of them are not picked up. So they continue to sit 
on the docks and whistle and whittle, and a long row of them 
may be found there to-day explaining to one another why they 
don't go to work. 

A tugboat crew consists of four men and a cook. Of course 
the cook is a man, but for some reason known only to the tra- 
ditions of the river men he is never enumerated in the crew. 
But he is an important member of the company, as any hearty 
linesman will admit. 



Life on a River Tug 




CROSSING THE RIVER AT LAKE STREET 



The four men are the captain, the engineer, the fireman and 
the linesman. The captain worked himself up from a linesman 
because he was quick of decision and resolute, with an order 
for every emergency. He is a young man, too, for after the 
captain reaches the age of 50 he generally loses the "sand" to 
bunt his tug through endless obstacles and hurl fantastic pro- 
fanity at every one who attempts to oppose him. He is a valua- 
ble man, one who would make a general in war or a millionaire 
in business if he was educated. For his services he receives $1 50 
a month during the working season. The linesman spends his 
time in casting tow ropes, cleaning the tug and longing to be 
a captain. These three duties bring him $50 a month. Next to 
the captain the most important man is the engineer, who re- 
ceives $90 a month for sweltering in front of the boiler and 
dodging hot mud when the safety valve foams. Under him 
both figuratively and literally is the fireman at #50 a month. 
He has a remarkable capacity for perspiration, as any man who 
shovels three tons of coal a day into a red-hot boiler mouth 
would have. He lives in the hope of being an engineer. The 
cook — and a politic man he must be — receives $140 a month, 
on which he feeds the crew and saves his own salary. He must 



i6o 



Chicago Stories 



be a close buyer and a saving cook or else he will not have 
enough money left to buy his clothes. 

* * * 
The firemen sleep in a little cubby-hole, "down aft," where 
a landsman wouldn't have room to turn around. Sometimes 
they have their clothes of! once in two weeks, and sometimes 
it is as many months, for there's no telling when one bell and 
two jingles may summon them down the harbor. Not only do 
they sleep in the boat, but they also eat there. The parlor, 
dining-room and kitchen are in the for'd galley, a mere coop 
of a place into which a man may drop from above. Here the 
cook lives and oozes perspiration. At one side of him stands 
his hot cook-stove and close against the bulkhead on the other 
presses the boiler. Above, into the opening, beats the sun, 
through the breathless, smoky air. On hot days it is one of 
the hottest places in Chicago. When dinner-time comes the 




THE CHICAGO RIVER AT FRANKLIN STREET 



Life on a River Tug 1 6 1 

captain and his men dive down into the kitchen and get their 
tin plates full of potatoes, pork and oily butter, bread almost 
toasted in the torrid atmosphere, and climb out again to sit 
on the rail and eat. Here the soot vomited from the stack and 
the dust from the bridges settles down and peppers the pota- 
toes and frosts the butter. But the tugman has a vigorous ap- 
petite and a light heart and the provisions slide quickly away. 
Sometimes in shooting under a bridge the linesman holds up a 
big potato on his fork to the crowd on the bridge and offers a 
bite. 

In getting a tow the tugs run down the river, one from each 
of the four large concerns, and if there is a stiff wind from the 
north a fleet may be expected, and the tugs shoot out into the 
lake. Then there is a race, each prow cutting the waves of a 
head sea. Sometimes the water runs so high that the doors of 
the galleys have to be battened down and the waves sweep 
the deck unrestricted. Frequently a man is brushed off like a 
fly from the edge of a cream bowl. A tug sticks its toes deep 
in the water, and that is why it cannot be capsized, why it can 
steam so swiftly and with such tremendous power. 

If a tow is not in sight the tugs keep racing northward, one af- 
ter another, past Lake Forest, Waukegan, Kenosha and some- 
times even to Milwaukee. Night and day they go, changing 
watches from time to time, but never abating a pound of steam. 

At last a tow is sighted — perhaps a lumber schooner from 
Manistee. Instantly the tugs bite into the wind and begin the 
difficult race for the schooner's tow-line. Each captain holds 
firm to the wheel. He must run just near enough and not too 
near — else he may be run down, and above all he must beat 
his competitors. Wild excitement follows. The water foams 
and splashes and the great ship flaps her sails and apparently 
pays no attention to the race below. Each tug linesman sits on 
his stern-post, eagerly waiting to catch the schooner's line. 
Sometimes there are reckless collisions and wild shouting, but 
at last one captain, more skillful than the next, runs in the 
vessel's wake and catches her line. 

* * * 

On reaching the harbor mouth the sails are furled and the 
tug snorts up the river with its burden. It is a difficult task. 



1 62 Chicago Stories 

Each tug must "blow through the bridges," and there are 
thirty-six of them from the mouth of the river to the end of 
the south branch and twenty-seven to the head of the north 
branch. Sometimes several big tows going up meet several big 
tows coming down. Then there is a jam very much like a street 
jam of vehicles when a drayman's horse falls down. There is 
much shouting, much blowing of whistles and clanging of bells, 
and at last the harbor master, who is the river policeman, is 
called, and he orders the boats about until the jam is broken. 

Most of the big lines of steamers have contracts with tow- 
ing companies for all their work, so that there is no racing for 
their boats. But a tramp steamer, of which there are hundreds 
on the lakes, is a prize to be raced for. The sailboats on the 
lakes are decreasing in number yearly, and it won't be long 
before there will not be a sail for tug smoke to blacken. 

It costs all the way from #40 to $60 to tow a vessel up the 
river and take her out when she is unloaded. The price is reg- 
ulated by the size of the boat and the distance to be towed. 

Once in two weeks the tugs "lie by" to have their boilers 
cleaned. This is necessary because they use the muddy river 
water, and it doesn't take long for a tug to be in a condition 
to foam and blow showers of mud over everything. While the 
cleaning is going on the crew get a short vacation to go home 
to their families — if they have any. 

* * * 

When the insurance runs out in the fall, or the river freezes 
over, the work of the tugman is done for the year. Then, if he 
is industrious, hefinds work on land. One captain teaches school 
in the winter, some work at the stock yards and in other places. 
But the great majority live in the sailor's boarding houses 
and hotels, and play cards and tell stories all winter long. The 
firemen lounge around the coal docks, as if seeking their ele- 
ment, the engineers frequent oil houses and saloons in their 
vicinity, and the captains while away their time about the 
ship-chandlers' places and in the tug-owners' offices. 

Although the river is a good deal like a city street, with the 
ships for vehicles it is still largely a law unto itself. One rarely 
hears of the arrest of a tugman. Yet there are a great many 
family quarrels. The captain sometimes knocks down the cook 



Life on a River Tug 163 

and the fireman paddles the linesman with his shovel, and of- 
tentimes men are "laid out" with calking mallets. Yet it rarely 
gets to the police. And it is most, common for one tugman to 
"set out another's rings," which, interpreted, means to "blow 
him up." * * * 

The river men believe in the usual sea superstitions. If a rat 
leaves a tug on the run then trouble will follow, and if possible 
the crew leave the boat to save themselves. 

"Why," said an old captain, "I remember I was on the tug 
Asa Ransom a number of years ago. One day we brushed the 
dock and a rat scurried out to the rail and jumped ashore. A 
week later the tug burned down in Sturgeon Bay. The rats 
know every time when there's going to be trouble." 

A tug costs about #25,000 and there are fifty of them in the 
river. 

Clark Street Chinamen 

IN CLARK STREET, where all the nations of the earth 
dwell together in harmony, one has but to go downstairs 
to find a Chinaman. And when found he is washing. 
This generalization applies only on week days, for on Sunday 
the Chinaman bubbles up out of his basement and discusses 
the silver question with other Chinamen who have bubbled 
up out of their basements. Or if it isn't the silver question — 
there's no way of proving that it isn't — it may be some other 
equally interesting matter. While he argues he smokes a good 
cigar, and occasionally he goes into a friend's house and sips 
rice brandy hot enough to scorch the throat of a wooden In- 
dian. Or perhaps he goes visiting with a calling card of red 
paper about two feet long. Or if it is a bright day he and six or 
seven of his friends may squeeze themselves into a hack and 
be driven in state down the boulevard. To the ordinary Chi- 
naman this is the height of spendthrift dissipation. 

If by good fortune some Chinese neighbor has chosen Fri- 
day for dying then the funeral comes Sunday and it provides 
much opportunity for thorough enjoyment. 



164 Chicago Stories 

Sunday night the Chinaman goes back downstairs between 
his two white and red signs which advertise: 



FAMILY LAUNDRY 



Any one but a Chinaman with his bobbed-off felt shoes must 
have a care how he descends these steps. Habitually sober 
men have been known to bump all the way down in a decid- 
edly undignified manner. 

* * * 

The Chinaman is as frugal in sleep as he is in everything 
else except opium, and before most of Clark Street has rubbed 
Sunday out of its eyes he is up and ready for his Monday work. 

Early in the day the bundles begin to come into the little 
office, which is partitioned off from the rest of the room by 
gently billowing red curtains. Why these curtains are always 
red no one has ever explained. Perhaps it is exciting to the 
Chinaman's imagination. It at least adds mystery to his sur- 
roundings. 

"Washee?" asks the Chinaman in attendance, always in the 
same tone. 

He takes the bundle and gives out a little slip of paper with 
some cabalistic signs on it. 

Then the bundle goes with a great many others under the 
bench, and the Chinaman makes an entry in a big yellow ac- 
count book with a camel's hair brush held straight up between 
his thumb and forefinger. 

But the visitor with the bundle never goes behind the red 
curtain. It is a territory that few white men ever get an op- 
portunity to explore, owing doubtless to the natural suspi- 
ciousness of the Chinaman. 

The mysterious back room is commonly very dirty and dis- 
orderly and squalid. In it the three Chinamen — there are nearly 
always three in every laundry firm — live and do their work. 
Ordinarily there are three rooms — one in which the washing, 
ironing, and cooking are done, one in which the clothes are 



Clark Street Chinamen 



165 



dried, and a small and stuffy closet where the proprietors sleep. 
Sometimes two rooms serve every purpose, and not infre- 
quently the Chinaman, who has a great capacity for adapting 
himself to circumstances, can get along with only one. 

* * * 

In the middle of the main room there is a pudgy round stove 
with a broad ridge at the center, on which the flatirons rest 
upright. On the flat top a teapot is always simmering, so that 
the Chinaman may have his drink of tea at any time. He 
doesn't like water. At one side stands a big bin full of coke for 
the stove — coal is rarely used — and at the other is the box- 
like washtub, with a big wringer at one end. 

And all about the room pails and boxes and brooms lie scat- 




THE VISITOR WITH THE BUNDLE NEVER GOES BEHIND 
THE RED CURTAIN" 



1 66 Chicago Stories 

tered in confusion. There are rarely any chairs — an empty 
soap-box serves every purpose. The plaster has fallen from 
the walls in big pieces, and it is swept up with other accumu- 
lations into the corners, where it sometimes remains until the 
Chinamen are compelled to get rid of it on account of the lack 
of room. A barrel of rice is usually kept on hand, and the dishes 
in which it is cooked lie, when not in use, in a big sink half full 
of water. They are rust-eaten and dirty. 

The room is always kept exceedingly hot, and the China- 
men potter around either bare-footed or in flapping, heelless 
slippers. The odors are far from pleasant. 

Personally the Chinaman is cleanly in his habits, for when 
the clothes are all washed he strips off his own scant garments 
and slips into the washtub and polishes off his gaunt form 
with a scrubbing brush. 

* * * 

The clothes are hung in a big dark room, and kerosene-oil 
lamps are sometimes placed around on the floor to assist in 
drying. It is for this reason that garments washed at a Chi- 
nese laundry so often smell of kerosene fumes. 

The Chinaman works nearly all the time. Mondays and 
Thursdays two of the firm wash while the other irons, often 
in the outer shop, where it is cool. On Tuesdays and Fridays 
all three iron, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays the laundry 
is delivered. In the middle of the day each Chinaman takes an 
hour's nap, and about 3 o'clock they have a hasty dinner of 
rice, tea, bread and a peculiar kind of cake, the members of 
the firm taking turns with the cooking. 

At midnight the Chinaman bolts and bars his doors and 
windows, for he is always fearful of marauders. Then he pre- 
pares for bed. 

The bedroom is usually small and cramped, and sometimes 
there are only two rough bunks for three Chinamen. In this 
case they cast lots and the one who loses sleeps on the floor. 
By the foot of each bed there is a little metal joss to which the 
Chinaman prays in his own peculiar way — a high, nasal mon- 
otone accompanied by much swaying of the arms and body. 
Here he flees first of all when he hears that the highbinders 
are after him, or when some one forgets to pay a laundry bill. 



Clark Street Chinamen 167 

In spite of the foul air, the poor food and the long hours of 
work the Chinaman is unusually healthy. If he is sick he may 
go to a doctor of his own race who will give him a great many 
sweet and bitter herbs and say incantations, but in Chicago 
he has learned, as a rule, to patronize American doctors. Three 
or four physicians control most of the Chinese patronage. 



From the Office Window 

WHEN Ruggles was first given his seat in the office 
he felt thoroughly disheartened. 
It was not on account of the desk, for that was 
of the latest pattern, with a rolling top, and the blotting pads 
were fresh every morning, and there were more pigeon holes 
and shelves and drawers than Ruggles had papers to fill. The 
chair stood close to the window, too, and Ruggles had always 
wanted a seat where he could look out and see the world move 
up and down. 

He had the window, it is true, but it was a back window, 
and that is what made Ruggles feel disheartened. A score of 
feet across a narrow court rose the dingy brick walls of an- 
other building, an old building on which time and weather 
had wrought a thousand grotesque designs. From where Rug- 
gles sat he could see four windows in the wall, and by leaning 
a little forward the edges of the scaling cornices at the top of 
the building became visible. Above this gleamed a narrow strip 
of sky as wide as Ruggles' window, which was very narrow in- 
deed compared with the amount of sky that Ruggles had seen 
when he was a boy and lay deep in the tangles of a clover field. 

* * * 

From the top of the building a great many telephone wires, 
telegraph wires and electric light wires were woven in and out 
like a great cobweb. Ruggles imagined that it might have been 
spun to keep such buzzing, toiling flies as himself and Rogers 
and Hume, who sat at adjoining desks, from escaping. 

In the morning of bright days a small, angular block of sun- 
light crept into the slit between the buildings, and traveled 



1 68 Chicago Stories 

along the opposite wall from east to west, bringing out the 
stains and disfigurements of the weather with double distinct- 
ness. The sun did its best to reach its long arm to the bottom 
of the court, for it wished to pry around in the dampness and 
clamminess there, but it could never succeed, although Rug- 
gles admitted that it was doing its best. As time passed Rug- 
gles grew to understand what the sun said. When it reached 
the streakings on the wall, close between the windows — the 
spot resembled the hump of a camel — it said that Ruggles was 
hungry and that he had better go out to lunch, and when it 
reached the rusty iron hook, where an iron shutter once hung, 
it was time to rattle down the top of his desk and go home. 
All of these things Ruggles learned little by little as he 
glanced up from his work. Gradually the wall assumed a come- 
liness all its own, and it smiled a welcome when he came down 
in the morning, and bade him a sad goodby when he went 
home at night. It was so companionable and sympathetic and 
silent. It wasn't as disturbing as the busy world in the streets 
would have been, and Ruggles often felt thankful for its pro- 
tection. 

* * * 

And the windows — what a perpetual source of joy they were. 
When Ruggles first took his seat the two upper ones were dusty 
and uncurtained — they made him think of the staring eyes of 
a blind man. They were there to see through, but no one saw 
through them. 

The two lower windows opened into some sort of a shop and 
Ruggles could see a long work bench and a table, where a 
foot-power saw often buzzed. Here an emaciated little man 
with a long leather apron spent all of his time bending over 
and tinkering at something with a hammer, pincers and small 
chisel-like instruments. Sometimes he had a visitor, who came 
and sat in the window and laughed a little and talked, but 
Ruggles could only make out an occasional word. 

On bright and sunny mornings he started his whistle 
going merrily. It was evident that the emaciated man hadn't 
learned any new tunes for a great many years. So he'd begin 
on "Silver Threads Among the Gold" first thing in the morn- 
ing and by noon he'd have reached "White Wings." Once or 



From the Office Window 



169 




ON CLEAR DAYS THE STRIP OF SKY WAS BLUE WITH RIFTS OF 

smoke clouds scudding over it {Drawing by Schmedtgen) 



twice he tried to whistle "After the Ball," but it wasn't a suc- 
cess — perhaps it wasn't classic enough. 

* * 3|C 

A few weeks after Ruggles began to be interested in his sur- 
roundings some one moved into the room behind the two up- 
per windows in the wall. This was evident from the fact that 
windows were cleaned and some pickle-colored shades put up. 



1 jo Chicago Stories 

A sprightly old woman, with a red-and-white bandanna 
handkerchief tied around her head, who came to the window 
every morning with a feather duster, was one of the inmates. 
The other — for Ruggles soon made up his mind that there were 
only two — was a fair-faced girl, with brown hair, and when 
she came to the window to get the fruit or the steak or the 
milk, which had been set on the sill to keep cool, she was al- 
ways laughing and talking. On bright days when the window 
was open Ruggles could see the ornaments inside — a few cheap 
pictures, some artificial flowers and a home-made tidy on the 
back of the chair that rocked by the window. The old woman 
and the girl sewed a great deal, with their spools standing in a 
row on the window sill. 

* * * 

One afternoon about a week after the old woman and the 
girl moved in Ruggles looked up and saw a red-haired police- 
man standing at the side of the girl. She was looking up at 
him and laughing. Presently he sat down near her, and when 
the old woman went away he hitched his chair much closer 
and seemed interested in the girl's sewing. 

Two days later a black-haired policeman — a big, handsome 
fellow — called. First he sat down by the old woman and talked 
with her as if he were much interested and she laughed and 
chatted gayly. After awhile she went out and the black-haired 
policeman crossed with his chair and sat by the girl. She seemed 
just a little shy, Ruggles thought, and when the policeman 
hitched his chair up she hitched hers back a little. 

For the next three weeks the red-haired policeman and the 
black-haired policeman called at regular intervals. The girl 
always smiled on the red-haired policeman and the old woman 
smiled on the black-haired policeman. Once they came to- 
gether, and Ruggles saw them scowling at each other, and 
the old woman was the only one that seemed at all at her ease. 

Then for a time Ruggles looked in vain for the girl. The old 
woman appeared regularly at the window, sewing energeti- 
cally, but the girl had evidently gone away. Then Ruggles 
himself was sent half across the continent, and was gone for 
nearly a year. 

When he came back he slipped into his old seat with a feel- 



From the Office Window 1 7 1 

ing of comfort and satisfaction. The wall and the bit of sky 
seemed to welcome him. 

Almost immediately he looked up to the windows opposite. 
There sat the old woman sewing, as usual, and Ruggles thought 
with a sigh of relief that nothing had happened. Toward noon 
he looked again. In the other window sat the girl. She looked 
a little older and not quite so merry-faced. 

In her arms she was rocking a red-haired baby. 



Where the River Opens 
to the Lake 



IT'S CHEAPER to ride on the boat than it is to stay at 
home. Put plenty of lunch into the basket and weight it 
down with a paper-covered novel. Take an extra wrap, 
an umbrella, a camera and a pair of field glasses and get to 
the boat early. 

It doesn't make much difference which boat you take. One 
will land you at Milwaukee and another at St. Joe, or you can 
take your choice of Michigan City, Racine, Waukegan, Ken- 
osha, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, Green 
Bay City, Escanaba, Gladstone, Grand Haven, Manistique, 
Macatawa, Ottawa Beach, Mackinac or Manhattan Beach. 

The principal object is to get the boat ride. To be sure, the 
start is accompanied by certain penalties and difficulties. 
Your big boat lies crowded into the narrow channel of the 
Chicago River like a huge draught-horse in a pony's stall, and 
the black, oily river steams gently beneath the warm morn- 
ing sun and does not charm any of the senses. 

To the east there is a gap of clear blue water showing be- 
tween the tall dingy buildings which line the docks, and 
beyond the smoke there is promise of real air. 

There are a half-dozen white steamers lined in the muddy 
chute of the river and barriered between the bridges. They 
are very clean with paint and very patriotic with flags. 

On one upper deck a band is playing "I Want Dem Pres- 



Chicago Stories 




"the blue water and the clear sunlight to the east" 

ents Back." This is a lively tune, and the passengers who 
come flocking in from Wabash Avenue and River Street or 
emerge suddenly from under bridges or tumble precipitately 
from trolley cars all keep time to the music. 

"I want dat bran new cook-stove, 
I want dat chair, 
I want dat lookin'-glass, 
An' a comb faw to comb my hair." 

The arriving passengers are in a state of apprehension. 
Finally they are aboard and ready. Then they wonder why 
the boat doesn't start. 

And now you hear the following: 

"Ma!" 



.Mi 



Where the River Opens to the Lake i 73 

"Yes, dear. And you know I said to John, 'I just know I'll 
forget something, because ' " 

"Ma!" 

"Yes, dear." 

"Why, ma, is— ah " 

"Now, I knew you didn't have anything to say. You 
mustn't interrupt mamma when she's talking. Well, after we 
got on the car I looked in my purse, and " 

"Ma!" 

"Angel! I'll churn you in a minute." 

"Well, ma." 

"What is it?" 

"Why — ah is that another boat over there?" 

"Of course it's another boat." 

"Who is that man away up on top there?" 

"That's the captain, I suppose." 

"Who's the other man?" 

"I don't know." 

"Is he a captain, too?" 

"Yes, I suppose so." 

"Do they have two captains on a boat?" 

"Darling! Listen, the band's going to play." 

"Where is that boat going?" 

"Across the lake, I suppose." 

"Is it going to the same place that we're going to?" 

"Yes, yes, I suppose so." 

"Will it get there before we do?" 

No answer. 

"Ma!" 

"Hush!" 

"Ma!" 

"Hush!" 

"I'm hungry." 

As there is sure to be an extended argument on the subject 
of food supply, it would be well perhaps to select a shady 
spot farther forward, but no matter where you sit, you will 
not escape the inquisitive child. 

"Ma, is that Chicago over there?" 

"After we get to Milwaukee are we going to come back 
home again?" 



174 Chicago Stories 

"Are there any fish in the lake?" 

"Do all these people on the boat live in Chicago?" 

"If a big fish came up and bit a hole in the bottom of the 
boat would the boat sink? Why?" 

"How deep is the lake right here?" 

If you are going for a ride on the lake, take a small boy 
along. He will be a sure preventive of idleness. 



cc 



Slim's" Dog 



IN HIS earlier life he may have had a full-grown name, but 
around the docks he was always known as "Slim." The 
name fitted him quite well. He was muscular, but his was 
the strength of the tall and bony kind. His mustache was exceed- 
ingly red, harmonizing with his complexion, which was a com- 
bination of bronze and alcoholic flush. "Slim" drank heavily 
at times, but his habits never affected thegoodness of heart that 
was born in him. If his habits were not commendable they 
were at least methodical. He had worked for eighteen years 
as a vessel-unloader. In his drinking bouts he patronized only 
one or two places. He had only a chance acquaintance with 
beds. Usually he slept on the dock or in a warehouse with a 
spread newspaper as a blanket and his dog for a companion. 
The dog was an undersized mongrel which he had rescued 
from starvation. Between the two there sprang up a friend- 
ship which only death could sever. Death did sever it about 
three weeks ago. "Slim," after a weary illness at the hospital, 
during which time he was too weak to protest against the bed 
into which they had thrown him, stopped breathing one night. 
The dog had been with him, crouching near the bed, up to the 
very last. The news of "Slim's" death being carried to the 
docks, the men unloaded that day without singing over their 
task. Now that "Slim" was gone they began to realize that he 
had been the best man among them. Few had been in the 
work much longer, and none other had received such marks 
of distinction. Every year for fifteen years he had been the 
one to carry down the gang-plank the first crate of strawber- 



"Slim's" Dog 




HIS HOME WAS AMONG THE DOCKS AND WAREHOUSES 

ries from Michigan. This crate always comes wrapped in the 
American flag, and there is a crowd waiting to see its trium- 
phal entry into Chicago. Who was worthy to carry the crate 
now that "Slim" had gone? 

The more they went over his record the more certain were 
they that "Slim" had been a good fellow, a friend to man and 
dog. Of course he had left no money, no effects. There had 
never been another man more thoroughly without a fixed home. 
No one had ever heard him mention relatives. Such a man us- 
ually goes into the paupers' field, but "Slim's" friends wouldn't 
see him put there. They started a subscription list. Not only 
the unloaders but the managers of steamship lines and the 
masters of the docks put in money, until the amount was $60. 
This was sufficient to give "Slim" a decent coffin and a place 
in Calvary. A delegation in carriages attended the funeral. 
The dog rode with the pallbearers. No one paid much atten- 
tion to him until the mourners reached a road house on the 
way back from the cemetery and lined up along the bar. Then 
it was observed that the dog went along the line, sniffling at 
the shoes. "He's lookin' for 'Slim,'" said one of the boys, and 
the whole row turned from the bar and gave their melancholy 
attention to the dog, who became embarrassed and went and 
laid himself down under a table. 



176 



Chicago Stories 



Next day the unloaders were at work again. The dog ran in 
and out among them, stopping for a moment now and then to 
wait for some one who didn't come. One of "Slim's" friends 
tried to adopt the dog, but the animal would not remain around 
the lodging house at night, but went roaming around the docks 
looking for a man asleep on a newspaper. 

One night the hands on a tugboat heard a splashing in the 
water and the stoker rescued "Slim's" dog from the muddy 
river. The unloaders said the next day that the animal had 
tried to drown himself. Once or twice the dog has reappeared 
at the docks, only to take a hopeless survey of the working 
gang and then trot away. He is once more a pauper and a va- 
grant, just as he was before he found the friendship of his life. 




/M c (oTUtft* 



NEXT DAY THE UNLOADERS WERE AT WORK AGAIN 



..M 



II Janitoro 



MR. TYLER paid $7 for two opera tickets. 
Although he slept through one duet he felt fully 
repaid for going, because Mrs. Tyler raved over the 
opera and wasted all her superlatives on it. The music was 
"heavenly" the prima donna "superb" and the tenor "mag- 
nificent." 

There is nothing so irritates a real enthusiasm as the pres- 
ence of calm scorn. 

"Don't you like it?" asked Mrs. Tyler, as she settled back 
after the eighth recall of the motherly woman who had been 
singing the part of a 16-year-old maiden. 

"Oh, yes; it's all right," replied Mr. Tyler, as if he were 
conceding something. 

"All right! Oh, you iceberg! I don't believe you'd become 
enthusiastic over anything in the world." 

"I like the music, my dear, but grand opera drags so. Then 
the situations are so preposterous they always appeal to my 
sense of humor. I can't help it. When I see Romeo and Juliet 
die, both singing away as if they enjoyed it, I have to laugh." 

"The idea!" 

"You take it in this last act. Those two fellows came out 
with the soldiers and announced that they were conspiring 
and didn't want to be heard by the people in the house, and 
then they shouted in chorus until they could have been heard 
two miles away." 

"Oh, you are prejudiced." 

"Not at all. I'll tell you, a grand opera's the funniest kind 
of a show if you only take the right view of it." 

Thus they argued, and even after they arrived home she 
taunted him and told him he could not appreciate the dignity 
of the situations. 

It was this nagging which induced Mr. Tyler to write an 
act of grand opera. He chose for his subject an alarm of fire 
in an apartment house. He wanted something modern and 
up-to-date, but in his method of treatment he resolved to rev- 
erently follow all the traditions of grand opera. The act, hith- 

177 



178 Chicago Stories 

erto unpublished, and written solely for the benefit of Mrs. 
Tyler, is here appended: 

(Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are seated in their apartment on the fifth 
floor of the Bohemoth residential flat building. Mrs. Taylor aris- 
es, places her hand on her heart, and moves to the center of the 
room. Mr. Taylor follows her, with his right arm extended.) 

Mrs. Taylor: I think I smell smoke. 
Mr. Taylor: She thinks she smells smoke. 
Mrs. Taylor: I think I smell smoke. 

Mr. Taylor: Oh. What is it? She says she thinks she smells 
smoke. 

Mrs. Taylor: What does it mean, what does it mean? 

This smell of smoke may indicate, 

That we'll be burned — oh-h-h, awful fate! 
Mr. Taylor : Behold the smell grows stronger yet, 

The house is burning, I'd regret 

To perish in the curling flames; 

Oh, horror! horror! horror!!! 
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor: 

Oh, sad is our lot, sad is our lot, 

To perish in the flames so hot, 

To curl and writhe and fry and sizz, 

Oh, what a dreadful thing it is 

To think of such a thing! 
Mrs. Taylor: We must escape! 
Mr. Taylor : Yes, yes, we must escape ! 
Mrs. Taylor: We have no time to lose. 
Mr. Taylor : Ah, bitter truth, Ah, bitter truth, 

We have no time to lose. 
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor: 

Sad is our lot, sad is our lot, 

To perish in the flames so hot. 
Mr. Taylor : Hark, what is it ? 
Mrs. Taylor: Hark, what is it? 
Mr. Taylor : It is the dread alarm of fire. 
Mrs. Taylor: Ah, yes, ah, yes, it is the dread alarm. 
Mr. Taylor : The dread alarm strikes on the ear 

And chills me with an awful fear. 

The house will burn, oh, can it be 






// Janitoro 



179 



^. 




IT WAS HIGHLY IMPORTANT THAT THEY SHOULD "HASTEN AWAY" 



That I must die in misery, 
That I must die in misery, 
The house will burn, oh, can it be 
That I must die in misery? 

Mrs. Taylor: Come, let us fly! 

Mr. Taylor : 'Tis well. 'Tis well. We'll fly at once. 
{Enter all the other residents of the fifth floor.) 

Mr. Taylor: Kind friends, I have some news to tell. 
This house is burning, it were well 
That we should haste ourselves away 
And save our lives without delay. 

Chorus: What is this he tells us? 

It must be so; 
The building is on fire 
And we must go. 



1 



I 80 Chicago Stories 

Oh, hasten, oh, hasten, oh, hasten away. 
Our terror we should not conceal, 
And language fails to express the alarm 
That in our hearts we feel. 
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor: 

Oh, language fails to express the alarm 
That in their hearts they feel. 

{Enter the Janitor) 

Janitor: Hold, I am here. 

Mr. Taylor : Ah, it is the Janitoro. 
Mrs. Taylor: Can I believe my senses, 

Or am I going mad? 

It is the Janitoro, 

It is indeed the Janitoro. 
Janitor: Such news I have to tell. 

Mr. Taylor: Ah, I might have known 

He has such news to tell. 

Speak and break the awful suspense. 
Mrs. Taylor: Yes, speak. 
Janitor: I come to inform you 

That you must quickly fly 

The fearful blaze is spreading, 

To tarry is to die. 

The floors underneath you 

Are completely burned away 

They cannot save the building, 

So now escape I pray. 
Mrs. Taylor : Oh, awful message 

How it chills my heart. 
Janitor : The flames are roaring loudly, 

Oh, what a fearful sound ! 

You can hear the people shrieking 

As they jump and strike the ground. 

Oh, horror overtakes me, 

And I merely pause to say 

That the building's doomed for certain 

Oh, haste, oh, haste away. 
Mrs. Taylor: Oh, awful message. 



77 Janitoro 1 8 1 

How it chills my heart. 

Yet we will sing a few more arias 

Before we start. 
Mr. Taylor: Yes, a few more arias and then away. 
Chorus : Oh, hasten, oh, hasten, oh hasten away. 

Mrs. Taylor: Now, e'er I retreat, 

Lest death o'ertakes me 

I'll speak of the fear 

That convulses and shakes me, 

I sicken to think what may befall, 

Oh, horror ! horror ! ! horror ! ! ! 
Mr. Taylor: The woman speaks the truth, 

And there can be no doubt 

That we will perish soon 

Unless we all clear out. 
Chorus : Oh, hasten, oh, hasten, oh, hasten away 

{But why go further? The supposition is that they continued the 
dilatory tactics of grand opera and perished in the flames.) 



Min Sargent 



HER name was "Min." She came into the office of 
Morewood & Son one bright morning in August and 
broke the ice with young Campbell, who sat in the 
outer office. 

"Where's the fellow that wants to hire a girl?" she asked. 

"Are you an applicant?" asked young Campbell. 

"Are you the man that wants the girl?" 

"Well-no." 

"He's the man I want to see." 

"I guess you want to see Mr. Morewood." 

"Well, where is he?" 

"He's in his office." 

"You tell him that I'm here, will you ?" 

"Certainly." 

Campbell was rather dazed by the self-assurance of the vis- 
itor. He had been accustomed to patronize the people who 
called to see the head of the concern. 



I 8 2 Chicago Stories 

Having tapped softly at the door which had "Lemuel More- 
wood" painted on the flaky glass, he received a sharp "Come 
in." He cautiously opened the door and said: "A young lady 
to see you in regard to the position, sir." The gray and melan- 
choly Lemuel Morewood was seated at a gigantic walnut desk, 
the tableland of which was strewn with papers and weights. 
All the pigeon-holes were choking full of blue-jacketed con- 
tracts, leases, agreements and abstracts. 

The elder Morewood was a thin man with long and restless 
hands. He had a gaunt face set off with close side whiskers. 
Although of slender framework and seemingly aged and wrin- 
kled before his time, his immense capacity for work had never 
failed him. He was a chilled-steel mechanism, operated by the 
energy of nerves. 

"Friendship" meant business reciprocity to him. Only one 
man, his son, ever dared to take him familiarly. 

* if. * 

The visitor slipped into the room and sat near the window. 
Lemuel Morewood, the great, his eyes rolling uneasily above 
his eye-glasses, muttered to himself as he scanned the pigeon- 
holes. His claw-like hands fumbled among the dry papers. 

"Min" looked out of the window for awhile and then found 
it more to her enjoyment to watch the man at the desk. 

Presently she said: "I believe I'll open the window. It's 
closer than an oven in here, mister." 

"How's that: Oh, I remember." 

He swung around in his revolving chair and looked at the 
visitor. He saw a girl of 18 or so, red-cheeked, bright-eyed, 
curly-haired, shirt-waisted, straw-hatted. Her nose had just 
the slightest tilt upward. 

But did the great Morewood see all this? Or did he simply 
allow his mind to grasp the business fact that there was a 
Young Person seeking a situation: 

"You desire employment:" he asked, gazing at her over his 
nose-glasses. 

"Yes, I do, but I'd like to know just what you want. I can't 
short-hand, you know. What did you want, some one to copy 
and address envelopes?" 

"Miss Low^ell is our stenographer," said the great man. "We 



T 



fjKCin Sargent 



183 



want some one to relieve her of a considerable portion of the 
routine work. You operate the typewriting machine?" 

"Yes, I can do that all right." 

"Do you write a legible hand?" 

"Well I can show you. Have you got a pen there? Why, but 
these pens are awful rusty. You ought to have a wiper." 

She had arisen and come over to his 
desk, where she calmly sorted over the 
pens while the great man adjusted his 
eyeglasses and looked at her again, as 
if either annoyed or surprised. 

"You have an awful nice office here," 
she said. "That's one reason I'd like to 
work here. Now where can I get a 
place to write? Let me sit down there 
just a minute." 

Lemuel Morewood nervously 
smacked his lips and then arose from 
his chair. "Min" seated herself and 
began to write in a bold confident 
hand, with shaded capitals, every small 
"o" as round as a butter ball and every 
"t" crossed with precision. 

The great man stood a few feet away 
and studied her as he would study a 
new Business Proposition. 

"Read it," said she, handing him a 
sheet of her own heavily engraved paper. 

"Well, I think it is hardly necessary to — " 

"Go on and read it." 

"Well, young woman, it seems to me — however, if you in- 
sist." He read aloud. "If I do not get a position somewhere I 
will have to wear my old cloak another winter. This is no joke. 

"Very Truly, Minnie Sargent" 

"You can read that, can't you ?" she asked. 

"Oh yes— yes, indeed. You live with your parents, do you ?" 
and he resumed his place at the desk. 

"Yes, sir, I live at 2618 Walworth Avenue. Do you want 
any letters from people who know me?" 




Qjfc/r~ 



MIN 



I 84 Chicago Stories 

"Well, really, young woman— my son Arthur should have 
attended to this matter. It's really out of my province." 

"You're the head of the firm, ain't you ?" 

"Yes, of course," and he said it so suddenly as he turned 
to look at her again that his nose-glasses trembled. 

"If you say I'm hired, that settles it. There won't be any 
trouble about that. Mr. Oh— Mr.—" 

"Morewood 1 Morewood !" said the great man, sharply, once 
more scratching among his papers. 

" Mr. Morewood. I'll try to do the work and if I can do 

it, all right. If you don't like me after you try me you can say 
so. When a girl goes out to get a place she ought to be the 
same as a boy. If she can't do the work she ought to be fired — 
er, I mean she ought to be discharged. How much would 
you be willing to pay a week?" 

"Really, young woman," said the great man, beginning to 
frown a little, "I had not fixed upon any compensation." 

"If I'm worth anything, I'm worth six dollars a week, ain't I ?" 

Lemuel Morewood made a sound something like a gasp and 
he ceased to rummage among the papers. Here, at least, was 
a Business Proposition that could not be ignored. Once more 
he turned in his chair and stared over his glasses at the girl, 
who met the scrutiny with supreme calmness. 

"You think that would be fair compensation?" he asked, 
pointedly. 

"You can try me at that and find out," she replied, smiling. 

* * * 

Lemuel Morewood arose and moved toward the doorway, 
saying: "Come with me, young woman." She went with him 
into the outer office. 

"Miss Lowell." 

The typewriting machine which had been clicking behind a 
Japanese screen suddenly became silent. Miss Lowell, a thin 
woman of delicate beauty and a nurse-like smile, came for- 
ward. 

"Miss Lowell. I have employed the young woman to help 
you. You take her in hand and show her what to do. She'll be- 
gin work — When can you start in?" 

"I can start in now." 



<J)(Cin Sargent 1 8 5 

"You can come to-morrow morning," and Lemuel More- 
wood darted back into his office. 

"What is your name?" asked Miss Lowell with a smile full 
of encouragement. 

"Minnie Sargent." 

"Miss Sargent, allow me to present Mr. Campbell." 

"How do you do, Mr. Campbell?" and she held out her 
hand. The young man shook hands as awkwardly as possible. 

"I'll be with you to-morrow morning, then," said Minnie. 
"Say, Mr. Morewood is an awful nice man, isn't he? I'll be 
here at 8." 

"No need to come before 8 :30," volunteered Campbell. 

"He-ho! That's better still. Good-by." 

As soon as the outer door was closed Campbell turned to 
Miss Lowell and said: "That girl's very fresh." 

"It's a wonder Mr. Morewood didn't snap her head off. 
He's worried to-day over that Michigan failure." 

" She said she thought he was a nice man. I didn't expect to 
see her stay in there two seconds. She must have hypnotized 
him." 



Pink Marsh 



WHEN the morning customer climbed into the chair 
he saw on the wall, within easy reach, a pasteboard 
box capped with a sprig of green. In the side of the 
box was a slit, large enough to receive a silver dollar. Below it 
were the words: "Merry Xmas. Remember the porter." 

"What does that mean — 'Merry Xmas'?" asked the cus- 
tomer. 

Pink Marsh chuckled away down in his throat as he reefed 
the trousers leg. "You knows might' well wha' tha' means, 
mistah. If I on'y had yo'ej'cash'n I wouldn' be whippin' flan- 
nel ovah no man's shoes." 

"I don't see what education has to do with it. What is it, 
anyway — that 'merry Xmas'?" 

"Mistah ClifTo'd, on the secon' chaih, made it fo' me. He 
says that's 'me'y Ch'ismas'." 



i86 



Chicago Stories 




"my goodness, mistah, you ain' goin' fo'ce me to come 
right out an' ask fo' it, are you?" 

"That's a funny way to spell Christmas. What does the 
rest of it mean there, about remembering the porter?" 

"My goodness, mistah, you ain' goin' fo'ce me to come 
right out an' ask fo' it, are you?" 

"Ask for what?" 

In reply, Pink merely choked up with laughter and rolled 
his head. 



TinkzMarsh 187 

"Mr. Clifford did a very fine job there," observed the cus- 
tomer. 

"Who, Mistah Cliffo'd? He can do an'thing. He's got a 
watch-chain made out o' real haih he made himself." 

"He must be a versatile genius." 

"I guess he — say, mistah, tha' was a wahm piece o' talk. 
Wha' was that you say — he " 

"I say he must be a versatile genius." 

"A vussitle gemyus — genimus." 

"Genius — versatile genius." 

"Vussitle gen'us — tha's a lolly-coolah. If I on'y had a few 
like that I'd keep 'em ketchin' theah breaths, suah. Wha's 
the def'mmition?" 

"That means a man of varied accomplishments." 

Pink worked for a few minutes and allowed the definition 
to percolate. Then he observed, with a sigh : " I couldn't ketch 
them boys; not 'ith a laddah. Too high." 

* * * 

The barber at chair No. 1 shouted "Brush!" and Pink 
shuffled away to attend to a thin man with a powdered com- 
plexion and gummy hair. 

First he brushed the thin man, front and back, becoming 
more earnest in his efforts just as the man received a handful 
of small change. Pink held the overcoat and, after the thin 
man had worked into it, he reached under for the inside coat 
and pulled it down so violently that the thin man was bowed 
backward. While Pink was brushing the overcoat the thin 
man walked over and took his hat from the hook. 

But he was not to escape so easily. Pink gently pulled the 
hat away from him and went in search of the small brush. He 
stood in front of the thin customer and, holding the hat gin- 
gerly in the left hand, brushed it carefully, at the same time 
blowing off imaginary specks of dust. 

While the thin man was waiting for his hat he casually put 
his right hand into the trousers pocket. Pink stopped brush- 
ing and scratched at an invisible spot or stain of some sort on 
the sleeve of the overcoat. 

"Shine?" he inquired, softly. 

"Nope." 



I 8 8 Chicago Stories 

So he continued to brush the hat. 

The thin man withdrew his hand from the pocket. Pink 
turned the hat around right side forward and presented it to 
the customer with a low bow. The customer's right hand 
moved forward a few inches, but Pink's broad palm met it 
more than half way. The nickel passed. 

"Thank you, seh," said Pink, in a reverential whisper. The 
thin man started toward the door. Pink seized the long whisk 
broom and pursued him, hitting him between the shoulder 
blades. As the man passed out Pink got in one final blow on 

the coat-tails. 

* * * 

"Well, did you land him?" asked the customer in the high 
chair, when Pink had resumed his work on the shoes. 

In response, Pink dropped the nickel to the floor, as if by 
accident. Then he picked it up, turned it over and finally put 
it in his mouth. 

"Money layin' all 'roun' heah to-day," he said, rattling 
the coin against his teeth. 

"You can buy a loaf of bread with that," suggested the 
customer. 

"You bettah make anothah guess on what I'm goin' to do 
with any nicks I get hoi' of these days. Bread's fo' poo' peo- 
ple. I'm goin' eat chidlins, roas' pig, co'n bread, che'y pie, 
mash tu'nips, an' — ah — le' me see — " 

"You'll be lucky to get snow-balls," said the wise barber, 
who had a disagreeable way of coming into the heart-to-heart 
talks between Pink and the morning customers. 

"Don' lose no sleep 'bout me," retorted Pink, "I may be 
ba' foot an' need mo' undahclose, but I sut'ny will have chid- 
lins on Ch'ismas, an' any man 'at thinks diff'ent wants to 
back up an' take a new guess. If that theah box treats me 
right I'll have mon fo' Ch'ismas." 

The morning customer accepted this remark as a gentle 

and diplomatic hint. 

* * * 

While Pink was at work on the second shoe he began to 
sing very softly : 



Tink cJWars/i 189 

"Some folks get livin' with they han's 
An' some get livin' f'm lan's, 

But a little pa' of bones, all covahed with sevens, 
Is s'ponsible fo' Dan's. 
Some coons think they ah might' fly, 
Try to read-ah my system in ah-eye, 
But book say a suckah bo'n ev'y minute 
An' nevah known to die." 

"What's that, something new?" asked the man in the 
chair. 

" Ain' that a wahm piece o' wo'k? Tha's new, fo' a fac'. My 
brothah gi' me that last night. He's a guitah-playah." 

"Where does he play?" 

"Anywheah that they's good to him. Yes, seh, tha's 
'Crappy Dan, the Spo'tin Man.' If that theah box wins out 
fo' me I'm goin' to heah that Miss May Uhwin sing it some 
night. She's so wahm you can feel the heat up in 'e' gallery." 

"You ought to save your money instead of spending it at 
the theater." 

"Down theah whe' I live it ain' safe to keep yo' money. If 
they think yo' savin' yo' coin they stop yo' at night. If any- 
body's goin' to spend my money I wan' o' spend it myself, 
yes, seh." 

"Why don't you put it in the bank?" 

"Yes, seh, I'm goin' put some in 'e bank next yeah." 

"Well, you want to bear well in mind that procrastination 
is the thief of time." 

"Wow! Le' go, man! Tha's sut'ny the hottes' thing yo' 
handed me yet. Pocazzumalashum — prasticanashum — che- 
nashalum — no, seh, theah's one too good fo' me. No, seh, 
don't try to gi' me that one. It keep me busy jes' foldin' kinks 
out o' that boy. I couldn' wo'k an' remember that at the same 
time." 

"Why, that's very simple — procrastination. It means the 
habit of postponing action, putting off until to-morrow, as it 
were." 

" 'At's all right what't means, mistah. The wise boy 'at 
wo'ked all day gettin' up that wo'd nevah meant it fo' me. I 
am strong enough to swing them kind — pocrastumalation — 
timination " 



190 Chicago Stories 

" Procrastination." 

"No, seh, don' try it. I can't use that boy. They would'n' 
stan' fo' nothin' like that on Deahbo'n Street. Yo' keep that 
one an' use it yo'self — proclast-pocrasum-unn-unn — mistah, 
yo' sut'ny have wo'ds up yo' sleeve that ah strangahs to me." 

"Procrastination is a good word," said the morning cus- 
tomer as he slipped a quarter into the Christmas box and de- 
scended from the high chair. 

"Thank yo', seh," repeated Pink, three times. 

"They ah sut'ny ve'y few man can use them wo'ds as you 
do," said he, as he was brushing the morning customer. 
"'Prastigumation is what steals away yo' time' — no, seh, 
don' tell me no mo'; it's too high. Good mo'nin', yes, seh. 
Same to you, mistah. Me'y Ch'ismas." 



cc 



Doc^ as Lothario 



TAKEN as a whole, the colony at the Alfalfa European 
Hotel would not have induced a modest woman to 
come across the street. 

The members were not youthful, and, with one or two ex- 
ceptions, the men who attempted to be dressy ran to fawn- 
colored gaiters, fly-front vests, ready-made cravats and other 
hyphenated articles properly belonging to the man who thinks 
he is while he really isn't. 

The actor had a sort of reminiscent splendor, like that of a 
summer pavilion in the dead of winter, but here and there a 
pin had to do for a button and sometimes the cuffs wore an 
edge like that of a handsaw. The actor seemed to labor under 
the impression that he could atone for other shortcomings in 
his appearance by putting an extra shine on his shoes and 
allowing part of a slightly soiled handkerchief to protrude from 
his upper coat pocket. 

The "lush," who, it was whispered, had wealthy relatives 
in the east and lived on an allowance granted by them, was 
the best-dressed man of the lot when he was sober enough to 
supervise himself. The race-track man favored the styles of 



T>oc yy as Lothario 



191 



his boyhood days. His shoes were rather box-toed and his 
cravat was a black string pulled into a bow. He had a large 
watch-chain looped across his vest, and the locket was neces- 
sarily a horseshoe. 

As might have been expected, the lightning dentist sought 
color effects. When he came out to the street doorway in light 
checked trousers, saffron-col- 
ored vest and blue coat, his 
knotted four-in-hand cravat 
darting into the crack of his 
shirtbosom at a point some 
two inches below the collar, 
and his hands clammy from 
perfumed toilet soap, he seemed 
to feel that he was doing more 
than his share to make this 
world a pleasant place of abode. \ 

* * * \j 

"Doc" Home, according to 
his own admission, was a most 
dangerousmanwiththewomen. / 

"Doc" was bald and ruddy, /0/fCff ' 
with a scattering of pimples, 
and his garments gave proof 
that on more than one occasion he had misplaced his napkin. 

A stranger making a guess at "Doc" might have picked him 
for almost anything in the world except the cooing lover. Yet 
"Doc" had been a principal in love affairs, for he admitted it. 

* * * 

It is beyond all comprehension that women in passing the 
Alfalfa doorway of an evening should shy at the assemblage of 
men who were born to smile at women and lead them captive. 

So far as actual observation went not one of the gallants 
had ever succeeded in winning a second glance from any female 
except the night waitress in the restaurant. She was on friendly 
terms with all of them and seemed to have an especial admi- 
ration for the lightning dentist. 

As for invitations to social gatherings, it is doubtful if a 
square envelope has come to the Alfalfa in the last five years. 




THE COOING LOVER 



192 



Chicago Stories 



There has been nothing on the surface of events to prove 
that the Alfalfa European Hotel is a hotbed of society favorites. 
It is necessary to engage in conversation with the members 
of the colony to learn of the hearts that have been broken. 

To be sure the "lush" had 
once met the lightning dentist 
clinging to a stout woman in 
State Street and had brought 
the news of it to the hotel. 

When charged with the af- 
fair the dentist appeared to be 
greatly confused, and hinted 
that there was a mystery con- 
nected with the lady and he 
would not venture to tell the 
whole story. 

In the presence of the light- 
ning dentist the "lush" was 
compelled to admit that the 
stout woman possessed many charms. As soon as the dentist 
went away the "lush" confided to the other men that the 
stout woman was a "bear," whatever that may be. 




/<vtH~ 



From the stories told on several evenings it seemed that 
"Doc," the lightning dentist and the actor had been loved 
only by women of the first quality. Not one of the trio would 
admit of any entanglement with any female of blemished 
reputation. 

"Doc" usually told of meeting his women at dinner parties. 
The dentist had made his conquests on the street and in rail- 
way trains, the woman usually seeking some pretext for ad- 
dressing him, simply because she couldn't resist him. 

The actor would say: "One night when I was playing in 
New York I observed an elegantly dressed lady in the stage 
box. She couldn't keep her eyes off of me. At the end of the 
third act, where I had my great scene — whole stage to myself 
— vengeance business, oath and quick curtain — got every 
hand in the house. I had to come out by this box and this lady 



T)oc" as Lothario 



*93 



threw me the lovely bouquet she had been carrying. Next day 
I received a note," etc., etc. 

* * * 

It must have been on account of the actor and his stories of 
smiling society women in the boxes that "Doc" was induced 
to tell of the season when he was singing in opera. 

No one around the hotel had ever heard "Doc" sing. His 
voice was a "Tom gin baritone" and the "lush" declared it 
was "full of nails." 

"What you givin' us, Doc?" demanded the "lush," glaring 
sleepily at the bland old falsifier. "You ain't got the nerve t' 
say you was 'n opera singer?" 

"That's what I was, my boy. I sung one whole season 
through the south, down as far as New Orleans and back. My 
stage name was Sidney Dupont. I didn't want to call myself 
Calvin Home on the stage because my family was very much 
opposed to my going into opera." 

"They'd heard you sing, probably," observed the "lush." 

"The story by our actor friend here," continued "Doc," un- 
touched, "reminds me of an experience I had that season. I 
was singing in 'The Bohemian Girl,' at one of the larger 
southern cities, and I had observed for several evenings a 
strikingly beautiful lady who always leveled her opera glasses 
at me the moment I came on." 

"She wanted t' see all the 
sights," said the "lush," who 
was in a quarrelsome mood. 

"One night on returning to 
my dressing room I found there 
a beautiful cameo in a shell 
box, and with it was a note 
telling me to go riding again •- 
the next day. I don't know 
whether I ever told you or not, 
but I was a great equestrian in 
those days. I had been in the 
habit of going out riding every 
morning, and it was evident f./7Zj f . 
that the person writing the the race-track man 




194 



Chicago Stories 



note had observed me. Of course I was curious to know who 
had written, and just to follow the adventure out I went rid- 
ing the next morning. As I was passing along a shady street 
in the suburbs I heard a clatter of hoofs behind me, and who 
should come riding up but the same lady I had seen at the 
opera house every night." 

"Did you give her back the jewelry?" asked the "lush." 

"She apologized for the manner of our meeting, but she said 
she knew of no other way of arranging it. She was one of the 
most beautiful women I ever met. I had no desire to encourage 
her, however, as I was engaged to an heiress in Cincinnati at 
that time. I started to ride beside her when there was a sound 
of hoofs behind us and up rode a young fellow with a black 
mustache. He came straight at 
me and tried to hit me with 
his riding whip, but I took the 
whip away from him and de- 
manded an explanation. It 
seemed that he was her cousin 
and there was a family arrange- 
ment thathe should marry her." 

"What town's that?" asked 
the "lush." 

"Doc" was a trifle annoyed (ufcfi- 
as he replied: "There are pru- 
dential reasons why the town 
should not be named. This 
young man turned on his cou- 
sin and began to upbraid her, 

but I said: 'Sir, I am willing to accept all the blame of this 
affair. Don't you dare to say another word to her.' He said 
he'd call on me later. I knew by that he intended to challenge 
me. Well, that didn't worry me much. At that time I was a 
dead shot." 

"I c'n take you over to shootin' gallery and beat you fi' 
times out o' six," said the "lush." 

"Did you have to fight?" asked the actor. 

"Yes, I winged him in the right arm the first shot. I didn't 
want to kill him. The young lady never had anything more to 



/ 




THE CAPTIVATING ACTOR 



T)oc" as Lothario 



195 



do with him after our adven- 
ture and I never saw her again, 
although she wrote to me sev- 
eral times. She was a beautiful 
woman and very wealthy and 
could have selected her own 
station in life but I understand 
she went into a convent." 

"Doc" paused and nodded 
his head slowly, to think that 
he had been the cause of it all. 

The "lush" gazed at "Doc" 
unsteadily and then said, with 
an effort: "Doc, I'll betcha $2 
you can't walk 'cross stage 
'thout fallin' off into the bass 
drum." 








THE IRRESISTIBLE DENTIST 



The Barclay Lawn Party 

THE Barclays have had enough of lawn parties. Eunice 
Barclay began the agitation, but in justice to her it 
may be said that the other members of the family read- 
ily fell in with the plan. They were ready to welcome anything 
that would break the dull monotony of a summer at home. 

The Barclays are strict church people, and they shun the 
places of summer-night resort where malt drink is served in 
large quantities. Mr. and Mrs. Barclay are too old to ride the 
bicycle. Eunice and Flora are of the opinion that bicycle rid- 
ing is not consistent with modest demeanor. 

The family is too frugal to waste money at extortionate 
summer hotels. 

Taking one consideration with another, the Barclays do not 
have any variety of summer fun to offer themselves or any 
one else. Mrs. Barclay and the girls keep up a course of sleepy 
reading, and in the evening the family sits under the trees. 



196 Chicago Stories 

The Barclay home is one of the old-fashioned places on the 
west side. It has escaped the ravages of improvements, al- 
though the neighborhood is changed greatly from what it was 
in 1874, when the house was built. The ugly factories have 
sprung up on every side of what was a half-rural spot twenty 
years ago. Streets that were almost bare of houses have filled 
with small residences that stand closely side by side. 

The Barclay place, with its pillared front porch, the big 
yard, the tall leafy trees and the clumped rose bushes, became 
an oasis, but Mr. Barclay held to the place because he couldn't 
imagine that he would be satisfied anywhere else. There are 
some good neighbors and old friends two or three blocks to 
the west, while the church which he helped to build and of 
which he has been a deacon for years is within easy walking 

distance. 

* * * 

Mr. Barclay offered no objection to the lawn party. He con- 
sidered it highly proper that Mrs. Barclay and the girls should 
entertain their friends so long as there was to be no dancing 
or other trivial and worldly diversion. 

The guests were to assemble at 6:30, and there was to be 
croquet playing in the area back of the grape-arbor. After that, 
when it came time for lighting the Chinese lanterns in the front 
yard, the company was to be seated at the small tables and 
provided with ice-cream, lemonade and cake. Two artists were 
to disperse mandolin music. After the serving of the refresh- 
ments and in the intervals between the mandolin selections 
Eunice Barclay was to play a violin solo and the minister was 
to give some of the dialect recitations for which he had become 
justly famous with the members of his congregation. The min- 
ister had a fetching dialect, which was neither Yankee, Ger- 
man nor Irish, but which he could fasten interchangeably on 
any kind of a character. Sometimes the minister would insert 
a dialect story into a sermon, and cause even Mr. Barclay to 
relax into an unwilling smile. 

* * * 

The lawn party started auspiciously, and the weather was 
perfect. As the invited guests came straying in Mrs. Barclay 
received them at the front porch and directed them to the 



The Barclay Lawn Tarty igy 

croquet game back of the grape-arbor. There were but four 
players in the game, the other people sitting at the boundaries 
and simulating a feverish interest. Flora and the minister were 
partners against Mrs. Jennings and Mr. Talbot, who was the 
basso of the church choir. 

Flora convulsed the company when she exclaimed: "Oh, 
Mr. Talbot, I kissed you." 

Now, what Flora really meant was that her croquet ball 
had kissed the croquet ball belonging to Mr. Talbot, but the 
startling wickedness implied in what she said served to pleas- 
antly horrify one and all. Afterward some of the women bit 
their lower lips and seemed to feel that they had gone too far 
in their laughter, but they were reassured to observe that the 
minister was smiling and unruffled. 

* * * 

The Barclay girls did not realize the full triumph of their 
plans until the guests moved in a loose swarm to where the 
chairs and tables waited under the soft glow of lanterns. The 
mandolin orchestra, literally a mandolin and a guitar, began 
to tinkle in the shadow of the porch. 

It was still early dusk as the company gayly took possession 
of the small tables. The reserve which had marked the opening 
of the croquet contest had gradually worn away, and bright 
conversational flings went back and forth, from table to table, 
many of them aimed at the minister, who was accused of in- 
ordinate haste in getting at the ice cream. He laid the blame 
on Sister Crandall, and said she had asked him to lead the way 
to the refreshments. Mrs. Crandall protested in mock anger, 
and Mr. Barclay indulged in hearty laughter at the minister's 

cleverness. 

* * * 

A small boy had his head over the fence and was gaping at 
the company. Eunice saw him and his presence annoyed her. 
She went over to him and said: "Run away, now; that's a 
good little boy." He backed away a few steps, staring at her 
sullenly, and when she rejoined the company he again took 
up his place against the fence. 

The orchestra began to play a medley of variety-theater 
airs, and if the music was wasted on the churchly people under 



198 Chicago Stories 

the trees it certainly aroused the neighborhood to the fact that 
something was happening. The boy at the fence was joined 
by three others. Two men in their shirt-sleeves walked across 
from the opposite side of the street, and a little girl, having 
peeked through the iron fence to take a frenzied observation, 
started away on a run to arouse her friends and bring them to 
the scene of festival. 

By the time the orchestra had come to a rousing finish of 
its medley with "Henrietta, Have You Met Her?" there were 
nine male persons, varying in age from about 6 to 50, lined 
along the fence, and a moment later no less than six or seven 
little girls began to mobilize and excitedly point through the 
fence at the various objects of interest. 

The Barclay guests pretended to ignore the outsiders until 
one of the men at the fence suggested in a loud voice to the 
mandolin orchestra that it "play something more." 

The little girls also began to speculate earnestly as to the 
quality of the ice cream, and then Flora Barclay began to be 
annoyed. 

"Isn't it dreadful to have these people standing along the 
fence?" said she. "Don't you suppose they would go away if 
you asked them to, Mr. Talbot?" 

Mr. Talbot is a small man, and it must be that he was never 
born to wear the purple and command- Still, Mr. Talbot did 
his best. 

He approached the fence, and, addressing the line of out- 
siders, said: "This is just a little private party, you know, 
and we'd be much obliged if you wouldn't stand here." 

"We ain't hurtin' you," said one of the men. "Go on with 
your show." 

"I know, but the ladies who live here would rather that 
you — that is, wouldn't congregate here." 

The men looked at one another as if they were undecided 
how to regard Mr. Talbot's appeal, and then one of them said 
decisively: "I don't like to be drove away from a place while 
I'm behavin' like a gentleman." 

"That's right," mumbled his neighbor. 

Mr. Talbot rejoined Flora and said he believed the men 
would go away presently. But they did not. 



The Barclay Lawn Tarty 



199 




/ 4/<&rc//&s 



IT WAS A PRIVATE LAWN PARTY 



The orchestra played again, and the attendance increased. 
A crowd gathers itself like a rolling snowball. The larger it 
becomes the greater is its drawing power. 

Those who arrived during the second music loudly asked 
what was happening, and some of them seemed to believe 
that the music and the display of lanterns had some political 
meaning. 



It is hardly necessary to say that the Barclay guests were 
in a distressed state of mind. Mr. Talbot was especially wor- 
ried. Flora Barclay had again asked him to "do something." 
What could he do but stand on a chair and make a speech to 
the assemblage? 

Imagine his relief when he saw an officer of the law. The 
policeman had parted a way for himself and was leaning 
heavily on the fence, a thoughtful expression mantling his 
face as he listened to the music. 

"Please, Mr. Officer," said Mr. Talbot, "can't you get 
these people to go away? This is a private lawn party." 



200 Chicago Stories 

"Do they bother you?" asked the policeman. 

"I should say so." 

"I don't know as I've got any right to move 'em." 

"Haven't got any right? Of course you've got a right. I 
appeal to you, sir. What's your number?" 

"Oh, well, I'll try to get 'em back," said the policeman. 

So he started along the fence, saying: "Come, now, you'll 
have to move away from here." Every one retired before the 
majesty of his presence until he came to the man who had 
previously said that he didn't "want to be drove away." This 
man began to ask questions of the policeman. "Who owns 
this sidewalk?" he demanded. "These people here don't own 
the street, do they? You don't have to do what they say, do 
you?" 

This policeman wasn't a bureau of information or a "ques- 
tions and answers" department. He took the inquisitive man 
by the neck and attempted to throttle him. The next mo- 
ment there was a whirlwind battle. 

The timid women under the Barclay trees screamed and 
ran. Some of the frightened outsiders bounded over the fence 
to avoid the swing of the policeman's club. 

That was practically the end of the lawn party. 

As the flustered guests departed a few minutes later a pa- 
trol wagon was backed up under the street lamp at the Bar- 
clay corner and several hundreds of people watched the load- 
ing up of a battered prisoner. 

But Eunice and Flora were in their rooms, squirming with 
hysteria. 



Handsome Cyril; or, 

The Messenger Boy with 

the Warm Feet 

IT IS the intention to present occasionally in this column 
stories which will appeal to the younger members of the 
family. These stories will deal, in a realistic style, with 
life in Chicago, and will be more or less permeated with 
adventure. 

The first of the series bears the title : 
HANDSOME CYRIL; OR, THE MESSENGER BOY 
WITH THE WARM FEET. 

Chapter I. The Meeting 

" Cyril!" 

"Alexander!" 

The two messenger boys clasped hands. 

It was in Madison Street — that busy thoroughfare where 
many streams of humanity meet in whirling vortexes. 

The afternoon sun lighted up the features of Cyril Smith, 
the courageous young messenger boy. 

His steel-gray eyes glinted as he gazed at his friend and 
comrade, Alexander. He had regular features and a regular 
suit of messenger boy clothes. 

"I hope you are well, Alexander," he said, a smile lighting 
up his handsome face. 

"Oh, yes; quite well, indeed," responded Alexander. 

There was a short silence broken only by the continuous 
uproar of the street. Then Alexander asked : "Where are you 
going?" 

"I am delivering a death message," replied Cyril, thought- 
fully. 

"Well, I must ascertain how the baseball game is progress- 
ing," said Alexander, and shaking our hero by the hand he 
moved away. 

20 1 



202 Chicago Stories 

" Alexander is a strange youth," said Cyril, musingly. "I 
sometimes think he must be pessimistic." 

At that moment the shriek of a woman in agony smote 
upon his ears. 

"What is this," he asked, "a woman in trouble? I must 
buy an extra and find out what has occasioned this disturb- 
ance." 

For at that moment the newsboys were shouting the ex- 
tras which told why the woman had screamed. 

Such is life in a great city. 

Our hero ran toward the corner. 

He saw a beautiful woman struggling in the grasp of a fash- 
ionably attired man. 

She was a magnificent creature. Great swirls of chestnut 
hair fell in profusion down her back. The alabaster whiteness 
of her face served to intensify her beauty. She wore a diamond 
necklace, diamond earrings, and her lily-white hands flashed 
with precious jewels. 

She turned an appealing look at our hero and said: "Oh, 
sir, save me!" 

Bing! 

With a well-directed blow Cyril sent the fashionably 
dressed man sprawling on the pavement. With the other arm 
he supported the fainting woman. Then with the other hand 
he picked up the lace handkerchief which had fallen to the 
ground and presented it to her with a graceful bow. 

" Curse you ! " shouted the villain, struggling to his feet. " I 
shall cause you to rue this deed." 

"Coward!" exclaimed Cyril, with a curling lip. "How dare 
you strike this woman?" 

"We shall meet again," said Cyril's antagonist ominously, 
and with these words he stepped into a carriage and was 
driven rapidly away. 

Our hero now turned his attention to the beautiful creature 
who reclined in his arms. 

"Speak! speak!" he whispered. 

Slowly the glorious eyes opened, and then she asked, in 
tremulous tones: "Where is he?" 

"Gone." 

"Whereto?" 



Handsome Cyril 



203 



"That I cannot say, madam," responded Cyril, for though 
he was only a messenger boy he had been taught to be cour- 
teous. 

"His name is Rudolf Belmont. He must be followed." 

"Yes, madam." 

"He has taken the papers which prove that I am the real 
owner of the Belmont estate." 

A shudder passed through our hero's frame. Then, recov- 
ering himself, he said: "Madam, I will follow that villain and 
recover the papers." 

"Oh, thank you," said she, and for a few minutes she wept 
softly. 

Finally she lifted her tear-stained face and said : " Summon 
a conveyance and if you are ever in need of a friend come to 
this number," saying which she gave Cyril an engraved card 
and offered him a purse containing gold. 

"No, madam," said Cyril, with dignity. "I will not take 
your money. My salary is sufficient to permit me to live in 
comparative luxury." 

The cab which he had summoned arrived at this moment. 
He assisted his fair companion to enter the cab and then 
turned his attention to the carriage, which by this time was 
nearly a mile away. 

"That wretch shall not escape me," he said determinedly, 
and without further ado he started in pursuit of the carriage, 
which was now a mile and a quarter away. 

As he sped along the street he chanced to read the card 
that the beautiful woman had given him. 

It read : 



MRS. GERTRUDE FISHER 



778 Michigan Boulevard 
Second Flat 



Merciful heaven!" he gasped. "My mother!" 



204 Chicago Stories 

Chapter II. Treachery 

It will be remembered that we left our hero pursuing the 
carriage containing Rudolf Belmont. 

In a few moments he overtook the equipage and saw Ru- 
dolf Belmont enter a tall mansion in 12th Street. 

Our hero secreted himself behind a large tree, determined 
to wait for an opportunity to enter the house. 

An hour passed. 

Cyril began to feel the pangs of hunger, but he was deter- 
mined not to abandon his post. 

"Ah, sir; you are a handsome youth," said some one be- 
hind him, and Cyril turned to behold a tall, handsome 
stranger. 

Our hero acknowledged the compliment with a pleasant 
bow, and soon he was in conversation with the stranger. 

Before departing the stranger gave our hero a box of 
crackerjack, which he devoured, with a relish, as it had been 
nearly two hours since he had tasted food. 

Scarcely had he finished eating when he felt a strange faint- 
ness. Everything seemed to swim before his gaze, as though 
he were in a natatorium. He had to lean against the tree for 
support. 

Suddenly the truth flashed upon him! 

The crackerjack had been drugged. 

The whole earth seemed enveloped in darkness. He sank to 
the ground. 

He heard a voice, "Away with him to the basement." 

It was the voice of Rudolf Belmont! 

Then all was blank. 

Chapter III. The River 

When our hero recovered consciousness he found himself 
bound and gagged and being carried along a dark thorough- 
fare by two rough-looking men. 

A drizzle of rain was falling and the sky overhead was inky 
black. 

Cyril heard a voice. It was the voice of Rudolf Belmont. 
He was speaking to the two rough-looking men. He said: 
"Do your work well. Then meet me at the Rock Island de- 
pot and you shall have your money." 



Handsome Cyril 



205 




HANDSOME CYRIL 



206 Chicago Stories 

Cyril's heart seemed to stand still! 
What were they going to do? 

The two ruffians carried him along a dark wall. He heard 
beneath him the lapping of waves. 
He knew the horrible truth. 
The river! 

The two men spoke in muttered oaths. 
Our hero felt himself lifted. 
Then he fell, down and down. 
Splash! 
The dark waters closed above him. 

Chapter IV. Alexander to the Rescue 

Just as the body disappeared and the two ruffians ran back 
into the dark thoroughfare a boat shot across the river. 

"I thought I heard something drop into the murky river," 
said Alexander, for it was he. "I suspect foul play." 

At that instant he saw the form of a man rise to the water's 
surface. He reached forth and pulled our hero into the boat. 
It was the work of a moment to remove the gag and ropes. 
" Cyril!" 

"Alexander! What are you doing here?" 

"I was taking a boat ride, when I heard a sound indicating 
that some one had been thrown into the river. What does it 
mean?" 

" Quick! I have no time to tell now. We must get to the 
Rock Island depot. Have you your revolvers with you?" 

"Yes," said Alexander, producing his trusty weapons and 
inspecting them carefully. 

"Then come with me, for we have not a moment to spare." 

With one strong pull the boat reached the shore. Our hero 
hastened up the bank, closely followed by Alexander, and 
ran toward the Rock Island depot. 

Just as our hero and his companion dashed into the train 
shed a man with a slouch hat pulled down over his face ran 
for a train which was slowly moving out of the station. 

That man was Rudolf Belmont! 



— 



Handsome Cyril 207 

Chapter V. Thwarted 

Our hero, it will be recalled, saw Rudolf Belmont running 
to catch the train. He redoubled his speed. 

As Rudolf Belmont swung on the last platform, Cyril fol- 
lowed closely. 

He seized the object of his pursuit. They grappled and fell 
from the train. 

Our hero fell underneath. " Curse you; though you had 
nine lives, like a cat, your time has come now," hissed Rudolf 
Belmont, drawing a revolver and pointing it at our hero's 
head. 

At that instant a pistol-shot rang out and Rudolf Belmont 
emitted a cry of pain. 

The revolver fell from his hand. 

The faithful Alexander had put a bullet through the vil- 
lain's hand. 

The next instant Cyril was on his feet and Rudolf Belmont 
was in the custody of a stalwart policeman. 

"You came at an opportune moment," said our hero, with 
a quiet smile, as he shook hands with Alexander. Then, turn- 
ing to the policeman, he said: "Your prisoner has in his pos- 
session certain papers which I wish to secure, after which you 
may take him to prison." 

The policeman touched his cap respectfully and Cyril re- 
moved the bundle of papers from Rudolf Belmont's inner 
pocket. 

Rudolf Belmont was led away, cursing. 

Chapter VI. United 

"Mother!" 

"Cyril!" 

It was indeed a happy evening at the magnificent home in 
Michigan Boulevard. 

"I have brought you the papers, mother," said Cyril 
modestly. 

"My brave boy!" she murmured, with pardonable pride. 
"We must not forget your friend, who so bravely came to 
your succor," and she handed Alexander a #1,000 note. 

Little remains to be told. Rudolf Belmont served a life- 



208 Chicago Stories 

sentence in Joliet. Cyril Smith lives happily with his mother, 
Mrs. Fisher, who is as young and beautiful as ever. Often, on 
pleasant evenings, they entertain at dinner a thoughtful man 
with a brown mustache and genteel suit of dark material. 
That man is a member of the Civic federation, but if we look 
again we will see that he is none other than our old friend, 
Alexander. 



Clarence Allen, the Hypnotic 
Boy Journalist 

THIS week's Nursery tale has the title: Clarence Allen, 
the Hypnotic Boy Journalist, or the Mysterious Dis- 
appearance of the United States Government Bonds. 

Chapter I. To Work! 

It was in the office of the Chicago Daily Beacon! J. Wind- 
sor Frost, the editor, sat in his palatial apartment, where the 
light fell softly through stained-glass windows and the walls 
were tastefully decorated with articles of bric-a-brac and 
vertu. 

J. Windsor Frost was a handsome man and a neat dia- 
mond flashed in his shirt front. 

Suddenly he aroused himself and an expectant smile came 
to his face. 

A manly youth 12 years of age entered the room and stood 
facing the great editor. He had a strikingly handsome face 
and an eagle eye. On his breast glittered a star, indicating 
that he was a representative of the press. A notebook and a 
well-sharpened lead pencil protruded from his breast pocket. 

This is our first view of Clarence Allen, the hypnotic boy 
journalist. 

"Ah, you have come," said the great editor. 

"Yes, Mr. Frost, I am always ready to answer the call of 
duty," said our hero, modestly. 

Without further ado the great editor handed the following 
clipping to the boy journalist: 



Clarence oJfllen, the Hypnotic Boy 'Journalist 209 

" Great Excitement 

"Our city was thrown into a fever of excitement last eve- 
ning by the announcement that Erastus Hare, one of our old- 
est and most respected citizens, had been robbed of #37,000 
worth of United States government bonds by some unknown 
miscreant. The culprit entered Mr. Hare's bedroom through 
a window and attacked our old friend and subscriber with a 
knife. Afterward he took the bonds and escaped. As we go to 
press he has not been caught. Little knots of men may be 
seen standing on the corners discussing the topic in low tones. 
Great excitement prevails." 

"The item you have just read was printed in this morn- 
ing's Beacon," said J. Windsor Frost. "This is the greatest 
criminal case that ever came under my observation. Can you 
find the thief?" 

"I can," replied Clarence, and, drawing his notebook, he 
hastily made a few notes. 

At that moment he heard a suspicious noise outside the 
window. He ran to see what could have been the cause. 

A masked man was rapidly descending to the ground by 
means of a rope. 

They had been overheard. 

Chapter II. The Footprint 

After providing himself with a dark-lantern and other 
needful articles, Clarence Allen, the hypnotic boy journalist, 
summoned a carriage and was driven rapidly to the Hare 
mansion. 

Here all was confusion. 

Our hero took immediate charge of the premises and made 
a minute examination of the room in which the assault had 
taken place. He measured the bedstead, counted the pictures 
and cut a small strip out of the carpet. Afterward he went 
outside and examined the ground. Suddenly he saw a deep 
footprint in the soft earth. 

"Aha!" said he. 

Taking the necessary articles from his pocket, he made a 
plaster cast of the footprints. 



2 1 o Chicago Stories 

"I have a clew," said he, and, drawing his notebook, he 
made a few notes. 

At that moment a bullet whistled by his head ! 

Chapter III. Desperate 

With Clarence Allen to think was to act. 

When the deadly bullet sped by his head he knew that the 
thieves had recognized him as a representative of the press, 
probably because of the star on his coat. 

Without further ado he rushed to a telephone and called up 
the office of the Daily Beacon and expressed a wish to con- 
verse with J. Windsor Frost, the great editor. 

" Hello!" 

" Hello!" 

"Who is this?" 

"This is J. Windsor Frost, the editor. And you?" 

"I am Clarence Allen, the hypnotic boy journalist. I 
desire — " 

But J. Windsor Frost heard no more. 

The wire had been cut. 

Chapter IV. Quick Work 

What was our hero to do? 

For a moment only he hesitated. Then he rushed to the 
window. 

It was thirty feet to the ground below. 

A trolley car was approaching. 

"I have no time to spare," he exclaimed, and jumped to 
the pavement. 

Leaping to the trolley car he pushed the motorman aside, 
and, seizing the crank, sent the car flying along the street at 
a speed of twenty-five miles an hour. 

The conductor of the car attempted to pull him away. 
With a well-directed blow our hero sent him flying. 

Women passengers shrieked in terror and the street was in 
a panic. 

Little cared Clarence Allen, the hypnotic boy journalist. 

Suddenly applying the brake in front of the office of the 
Daily Beacon, he ran wildly into the office of J. Windsor 



Clarence zAllen, the Hypnotic Boy "Journalist 211 




212 Chicago Stories 

Frost and showed him what he had written in his note book. 

" Great heavens!" exclaimed the great editor. "And now 
what do you propose doing?" 

Clarence's eyes flashed as he replied: "I am going to put 
the bloodhounds on the trail!" 

Chapter V. The Stone House 

The Daily Beacon, like all other great newspapers, had a 
pack of genuine Siberian bloodhounds, to be used for track- 
ing criminals. 

Our hero, after making out an expense account, selected 
two of the largest and fiercest bloodhounds and showed them 
the plaster cast of the footprint which he had taken at the 
Hare residence. 

The intelligent animals knew at a glance what was ex- 
pected of them, and in a few moments they were on the 
scent, followed by our alert young hero, Clarence Allen, the 
hypnotic boy journalist, who carried a revolver tightly 
clenched in his right hand. 

For nearly an hour no one spoke. 

Then the dogs stopped in front of an old stone house, with 
tall elms surrounding it. 

"This is the place," said Clarence Allen, concealing him- 
self in a thicket to await developments. 

After a few moments he chanced to look around, and his 
blood froze in his veins. 

Some one had stolen the dogs! 

Chapter VI. Hypnotized 

It will be remembered that we left our hero concealed in 
the thicket. 

He remained here for some time, and then, making sure 
that he had eluded his pursuers, he ventured forth and made 
a hasty examination of the old stone house. 

It was a dark night and the wind rustled through the old 
elm trees. 

Only one window was lighted, and it was on the second 
floor. 

"They are there," said our hero, and, producing a coil of 



Clarence zAllen, the Hypnotic Boy Journalist 2 1 3 

rope with a hook in the end of it, he made a fastening to the 
ledge of the second-story window and climbed up until he 
could peer in at the window. 

Three bearded men were sitting at a table talking in hoarse 
tones. Our hero felt a thrill when he heard his own name 
mentioned. 

"It is understood, then," said the leader, "that we meet 
an hour from now at the blasted oak to divide the money." 

" 'Tis well," said the other two. 

"And then we will leave this country forever." 

"Hold!" cried a stentorian voice, and, with a crashing of 
glass, Clarence Allen, the hypnotic boy journalist, leaped 
through the window and confronted them. 

For a moment they were surprised, and then with fearful 
oaths they drew their weapons. 

"Your time has come," snarled the leader of the gang. 

Three revolvers were pointed straight at our intrepid 
young hero! 

Could aught save him? 

Clarence Allen did not flinch. 

Gazing steadily at the leader of the band, he lifted his 
hands and moved them gently through the air. 

The ruffian fell backward to the floor and the weapon 
dropped from his palsied hand. 

Our hero turned quickly to the two other villains, who 
stood in mute surprise. 

It was the work of a moment to put them under the hyp- 
notic influence and take away their weapons. 

"At last!" he said, and taking out his book he made full 
notes of the proceeding. 

Chapter VII. Justice 

Having hypnotized the villains, it was an easy task for our 
hero to learn from the leader of the band the hiding place of 
the stolen bonds. They were found under a loose tiling in the 
fireplace and restored to their owner, who speedily recovered 
from his injuries. 

Little remains to be told. 

The Daily Beacon printed a half-column account, under 



214 Chicago Stories 

glaring head-lines, of the capture of the desperadoes by the 
hypnotic boy journalist. 

As for the thieves, they were promptly sent to prison on 
the testimony of our hero, who achieved a great reputation 
by his courageous conduct and who was soon after admitted 
to membership in the League of American Wheelmen, a dis- 
tinction which few merit and a glory which few achieve. 

[The End] 

Rollo Johnson, 
the Boy Inventor 

IT HAVING been urged that preceding tales for very 
small children were somewhat sensational in character 
and not calculated to impress any useful lesson on the 
juvenile mind, the story for this week will be made to contain 
some information in regard to mechanics. Perhaps it will ex- 
cite children to attempt construction of useful and intricate 
mechanisms. The title of the story will be: Rollo Johnson, the 
Boy Inventor; or, The Demon Bicycle and Its Daring Rider. 

Chapter I. The Secret 

"At last!" 

Rollo Johnson arose from his work as he gave vent to the 
above. 

His friend, Paul Jefferson, who stood by his side, asked: 
"Are you sure you have succeeded?" 

"Yes," replied Rollo, a proud flush coming to his cheek. 
"With this bicycle I am quite sure that I can make the fast- 
est time that has ever been made." 

Well might our hero flush, for now, at the age of 8 he had 
accomplished what Edison had failed to do. He had built a 
bicycle to be operated by electricity! 

Standing in his workshop with Paul Jefferson by his side, 
he explained in a few words the secret of his invention. 

He had filled the tubing with compacted batteries and had 



%ollo Johnson, the 'Boy Inventor 215 

joined them together by copper wires, thus utilizing the vac- 
uum. At the point in the ball-bearing axle where the currents 
conveyed, a flexo-lever had been placed, with the ohms oper- 
ating directly on the hub. By this contrivance our hero was 
enabled to use a gearing of 282, as easily as another rider 
would use 68 or 72. 

"It is indeed wonderful," said Paul Jefferson. "After four 
years of incessant toil, you are to be rewarded." 

"Yes," replied Rollo, musingly. "To-morrow I shall win 
the mile championship on my wheel and then I will be 
famous." 

A grating laugh startled them. 

They turned and beheld Hector Legrand, the millionaire 
and capitalist. 

A cold and cruel smile flitted across his face. 

"Rollo Johnson, I heard the statement you just made," 
said he, insultingly. "If you dare to place this invention on 
the market, you will ruin me and mine, and I will kill you." 

Our hero laughed defiantly. With a muttered curse Hector 
Legrand drew a dagger and sprang at our hero. 

As he did so, Rollo stepped quickly backward and touched 
an electric button connected with galvanic plates under the 
floor. 

With a maniacal shriek, Hector Legrand fell to the floor 
and lay there quivering. 

Chapter II. The Race 

Rollo Johnson well knew that his enemies were desperate 
and accordingly he had taken every precaution. 

He had imparted the electric shock to Hector Legrand at 
the critical moment, for the millionaire's dagger was about 
to be imbedded in our hero's breast. 

When Hector Legrand recovered from the shock he left the 
place, much crestfallen. 

Rollo bade Paul Jefferson an affectionate good-night and 
soon after retired, for he wished to be well rested in anticipa- 
tion of the great race for the championship of America. 

Next morning he arose bright and early and proceeded to 
the race-track, where thousands had already assembled. 



i~r 



2 1 6 Chicago Stories 

It was known that our hero was the inventor of the demon 
bicycle and there was a buzz of wonder and admiration as 
Rollo came upon the track, attired in a neat costume of blue. 
To all appearances his wheel was the same as those used by 
the other riders. 

Hooper, the favorite in the race, approached our hero and 
said, tauntingly: "You are a mere stripling, and it is pre- 
sumptuous of you to enter the championship race." 

"I will bide my time," said Rollo, for he was a gentleman 
at heart. 

A moment later the riders in the championship race were 
called to the tape and the word "go" was given. 

Eight wheels flashed away in the sunlight. 

Hooper was leading, Gardiner was second and Smikels 
was third. Our hero was last of all, pursuing an even pace, a 
smile lighting up his pale and handsome face. 

At the quarter-mile he was ten lengths behind. 

At the half he seemed hopelessly beaten. 

Suddenly there was a shout. 

Rollo had touched the button and released the powerful 
current. 

His wheel shot forward like a flash of lightning. 

He passed the other riders in a twinkling. 

The amphitheater rang with wild cheers. He had won by 
twenty lengths! 

The last half-mile had been made in 14 seconds! 

Chapter III. The Plans 

With a light heart, Rollo returned home, having won the 
championship of America. 

As he entered the house a sad sight presented itself. 

His father and mother and his elder brother Claude were 
seated in the parlor weeping bitterly. 

"Why so sad on this day when all should be joy?" asked 
our hero. 

"Alas!" replied his mother, kissing him affectionately, 
"some one has stolen the plans." 

"Stolen the plans!" he gasped. 

"Yes, Rollo; the only copy in existence was left lying on 



c Rollo "Johnson, the "Boy Inventor 2 1 7 

the table in your work-shop, and some miscreant has pur- 
loined it." 

"If I do not recover those plans my four years of investiga- 
tion will have been in vain," said Rollo, thoughtfully. 

"What do you purpose doing?" asked his father, wiping 
his eyes. 

"I will follow the thieves to the world's end!" exclaimed 
Rollo, and, leaping on his demon bicycle, he rode away like 
the wind ! 

Chapter IV. The River 

It was dusk. 

In a dingy basement near the murky Chicago River Hector 
Legrand sat at a table with four swarthy men, heavily 
armed. 

Before them on the table were the plans for Rollo John- 
son's demon bicycle. They were conversing in hoarse tones. 

"I have the plans," said Hector Legrand, "but my revenge 
is not yet complete. The boy must be put out of the way." 

His four companions growled fiercely. 

At that instant a bolt of lightning shot across the room. 
There was a blinding flash, and the five men fell from their 
chairs stunned by the shock. 

Rollo Johnson had crept down the stairway and turned 
upon them the full force of his portable automo-battery ! 

As the villains struggled to their feet they saw our hero 
disappearing up the stairway. He had captured the plans. 

With shrieks and curses they drew their weapons and pur- 
sued him. 

Rollo mounted his wheel and dashed southward. 

A dozen bullets whizzed by him. 

He looked ahead. 

The street along which he was flying led to the open river! 

There was no escape to right or left! 

Behind him were the murderous pursuers! 

Ahead of him yawned the dark stream! 

What was he to do? 



21 8 



Chicago Stories 




BANG! 
BANG! 
BANG! 



ROLLO JOHNSON 



c ^ollo Johnson, the *Boy Inventor 2 1 9 

Chapter V. The Escape 

Hector Legrand and his villainous associates emitted yells 
of triumph when they saw our hero riding madly toward the 
open river. 

Rollo heard their demoniacal cries and he knew that cap- 
ture meant certain death. 

Pressing the electric button on his wheel, he flew forward 
at a terrific speed. 

At the river's brink he lifted his front wheel. 

The bicycle shot into the air with the swiftness of an 
arrow. 

Bang! Bang! Bang! went the revolvers. 

Then there were howls of rage. 

Rollo had landed safely on the other side. 

Chapter VI. Retribution 

After his escape from the would-be assassins Rollo's first 
act was to notify the police of Hector Legrand's attempt to 
steal the plans. 

The police went to Hectoi Legrand's mansion to arrest 
him, but he had escaped, and was never again seen in Chi- 
cago. 

His four associates were soon after arrested on another 
charge and sent to prison for life. Such is the fate of evil- 
doers. 

As for Rollo Johnson, he took his plans home and had his 
mother put them in a safe place. 

Little remains to be told. 

Our hero received $1 ,000,000 for his invention and achieved 
just fame, but he did not relinquish his study, and every day 
he may be seen in his work-shop inventing some useful article 
for the betterment of mankind. 

[The End] 



d_ 



~T 



The Fable of Sister Mae 



ONCE there were two Sis-ters. They lived in Chi-ca- 
go. One was a Plain Girl, but she had a Good Heart. 
She was stu-di-ous and took first Hon-ors at the 
Gram-mar School. 

She cared more for the Graces of Mind than she did for 
mere Out-ward Show. Her Sis-ter was a Friv-o-lous Girl. 
She cared lit-tle for Books, seem-ing to find more De-light 
in Bangs, Shirt Waists and Trin-kets of Gold and Sil-ver. 
This Sis-ter was fair to look up-on. In fact, it was a Pip-pin. 
But, as we have said be-fore, she was short on Men-tal-i-ty. 
Now when it came Time for these two Girls to seek Em- 
ploy-ment (for they were not richly en-dowed with the 
World's Goods), the. Good Girl found work in a Hat Fac- 
to-ry. All she had to do was to sew Bands in Hats and she 
re-ceived for her services the Sum of Three Dol-lars per 
Week. 

The Friv-o-lous Girl who had naught to com-mend her 
except a Beauty which fad-eth, be-came a Cashier in a 
Quick Lunch Es-tab-lish-ment and the Pa-tron-age in- 
creased largely. She chewed Gum and said "Ain't," but she 
be-came pop-u-lar just the same. The Men who sat at the 
Count-er eat-ing Sink-ers and Cocoa-nut Pie remarked one 
to an-other that she was all right. The Em-ployer of ad-ja- 
cent Es-tab-lish-ments came oft-en to have Bills changed. 




220 



The Fable of Sister ^hCae 



221 



Cus-tom-ers lin-gered aft-er hav-ing paid their checks, and 
some spoke of The-a-ter Tickets and oth-ers spoke of Bi- 
cycle Rides. 

And her Pic-ture was on many a But-ton. When she had 
seen the Bunch she se-lect-ed a Young Man who owned a 
Buck-et Shop. He was not as nice as the Young Men she 
had read a-bout in the Ber-tha Clay Nov-els, but he was 
Mak-ing the Money. So they were mar-ried and moved in-to 
a Flat. She bought a Dog and a Thumb Ring and she had 
her Hair bleached. Al-so, when she went out of Town she 
had her name in the Pa-pers. She for-got the Price of Lem-on 
Me-ringue and be-gan to be in-ter-ested in Vog-ner's Music. 




Now when Wheat went to a Dol-lar her Hus-band didn't 
do a Thing. She be-gan to feel that Life wasn't worth liv-ing 
unless there was Cham-pagne on the Ice, and the Smell of 
Cooking made her faint. Fur-ther-more, she wished to move 
out of the Flat be-cause in a Flat One can-not be sure of 
One's Neigh-bors. So She and her Hus-band moved into a 
House and en-gaged a Coached-man named James, and She 
had her Nose-glasses mounted on a Stick and couldn't see 
where the Work-ing Classes came in. 

Like-wise She be-gan to read Rich-ard Hard-ing Davis, 
and she as-sem-bled the Pho-to-graphs of Her-bert Kel-cey, 
E. V. Soth-ern, Mau-rice Barry-more, James K. Hack-ett, 



2 22 Chicago Stories 

Henry Mil-ler, Robert Hil-liard and John Drew, and after 
Eight Les-sons she could play "All Coons Look A-like to 
Me" on the Grand Piano. Hav-ing these ac-com-plish-ments 
she be-gan to won-der why the Doors of So-ciety did not 
open to her. 

She went to the The-a-ter quite oft-en and a Box was none 
too good. The Hus-band oft-en wore a real Dress Suit, with 
a large sin-gle Dia-mond on his Shirt Front to show that he 
was a Prom-i-nent Cit-i-zen. She learned to talk gay-ly in 
the Box with-out be-ing a-ware of the Fact that Oth-er 
Peo-ple were pres-ent, and oft-en the Boys in the Gal-lery 
would look down and speak of her as the Real Thing. 

Her Hus-band paid $12 for the Cut and had her Pic-ture 
put into the South-west Di-vi-sion So-ci-ety News with a line 
under-neath say-ing that she was a So-ci-ety Lead-er. She 
be-lieved it and sent Cop-ies to her Rela-tives in dis-tant 
States. Al-though she was get-ting on, she was not too Proud 
to re-mem-ber her Kin un-der the Cir-cum-stances. 

Nei-ther did she for-get her Sis-ter at the Hat Fac-to-ry. 
Her Sis-ter was a Good Wom-an and was still get-ting her 
Three per Week. But the Good Sis-ter gave up her Job at 
the Hat Fac-to-ry and ac-cept-ed a po-si-tion as Cook for 
the Friv-o-lous Sis-ter. She re-ceived Six Dol-lars per Week, 
which shows that if One is Hon-est and In-dus-tri-ous One 
will sure-ly Suc-ceed in Time. 

Moral — Never de-spise the Poor. 



An Incident in the "Pansy 



55 



THE ' PANSY" saloon is directly across the street from 
the entrance to Sembrich's hall, where the Ludolfia 
Pleasure club gave its masquerade ball. "Matty" 
Swinton, Jimmy Flynn, "Butch" Hanton and "Fatty" El- 
dridge were sitting in the "Pansy" playing seven-up around 
a smeary table as the maskers arrived. 

A masquerade ball at Sembrich's hall is worth going to see. 
It puts a few hours of actual splendor into the lives of hard- 



zAn Incident in the '"Pansy 



223 



working young men and young women. The laundry girl 
reigns for one night as Marie Antoinette or else as the fated 
Queen of Scots. The girls employed at the Southwest Divi- 
sion Louvre dry-goods store forget their gingham aprons, 
their uniform dress and the wearisome clicking of the cash 
trolley, for they are transformed 
into flower girls, ladies of the 
court, senoritas, Japanese beau- 
ties and what not that is be- 
spangled and beautiful 

There is a little shop just around 
the corner from Sembrich's hall, 
at which masquerade costumes 
of the most astounding brilliancy 
may be secured for a small con- 
sideration. 

The young men seem to prefer 
comic parts. They come to the 
ball in the fantastic clothes of 
harlequins, clowns, burlesque 
German and Irish emigrants or 
else as gaudy negro minstrels. 
When they put on these fancy 
costumes they seem to put on the carnival spirit, too, for the 
gayety at a Sembrich hall masquerade is simply boisterous. 
These young men, ordinarily shy and diffident in the presence 
of young women, cavort and dance, beat one another with 
slap-sticks, indulge in crazy pantomime and pay exaggerated 
devotion to the masked beauties. 

It must be confessed, also, that the girls enter into the 
romp with no reserve of maidenly dignity. For John Swan- 
sen, the grocer's clerk, to put his arm around Hilda Jensen, 
the little bonnet-trimmer, would be a subject of scandal, but 
for the gallant bull-fighter to caress the senorita is mere ac- 
curacy of romance and no one is shocked. 

Be assured, too, that John Swansen and all the meek and 
timorous young men have now become the most audacious 
cavaliers. The young men of to-day in their somber store 
clothes still have the fine manners and chivalry of the mid- 




BUTCH 



224 



Chicago Stories 



die ages in their hearts, for when the opportunity comes, as 
at Sembrich's hall, they put on doublet and hose, velvet 
jackets, long tan boots, plumed hats, gauntlets, ruffled 
waists, chain armor, jeweled belts and hilts. Spanish cloaks, 
military helmets, Elizabethan ruffs and all the other finery 
to be rented at the little shop around the corner. 

Certainly a masquerade ball at Sembrich's hall is worth 
going to see. One will be pleasantly amazed to find such a 
magnificent pageant so near the "Pansy" saloon, which 
fronts on a muddy street and stands in a row of hideously 
plain and commonplace wooden streets. Sembrich's building, 
the neighborhood pride, is a large box made of bricks. 

* * * 
"Matty" Swinton, Jimmy Flynn, "Butch" Hanton and 
"Fatty" Eldridge turned from their cards occasionally to 

look at another noisy group of 
maskers passing up the lighted 
stairway across the street. 

"They're goin' to have a 
great push over there to-night." 
said "Fatty." 

"Ye-ah," said "Butch" Han- 
ton, studying his cards. "I'm 
goin' over presently, and if it 
don't suit me I think I'll stop 
it." 

"You'd better keep away," 
remarked "Matty" Swinton. 
"I seen you try to stop some- 
thin' once before." 

"Yes, you must like to ride 
in them wagons," put in the 
bartender, whosename was Joe. 
Every one except "Butch" 
had to laugh. The bartender's 
reference to the "wagons" re- 
called the fact that "Butch" 
had been taken to the station 
jimmy flynn one night for attempting to 




zAn Incident in the tl "Pansy 



225 



force his way into a wedding 
reception. 

"I had my peaches that 
night," said "Butch." "They'll 
never land me that way again." 

"Go on and play," growled 
Jimmy Flynn. 

The four card-players in the 
"Pansy" were not the kind of 
young men to put on fancy 
costumes and go to masquer- 
adeparties. They were toohard- 
ened and experienced to care 
for such childish diversions, 
and they were glad of it. 

They felt a superiority over 
the young fellows who acted as 
escorts to the laundry girls and 
those who worked at the Lou- 
vre. They would stand in front 
of the "Pansy" and watch the 
couples pass by and would feel 
a sort of malicious pity for 
them. They disliked the young 
men because of their guarded 
conduct and attempts at politeness. 

The "Pansy" card-players knew that the young men over 
in Sembrich's hall considered themselves more decent and 
more worthy than any young men who loafed in saloons all 
the time and said insulting things to the working girls who 
passed. No wonder "Butch" and his fellows hated the mas- 
queraders. 

Think of your own hatred for some irritating wretch who 
complacently believes that he is your superior! 




CHRIS 



The door opened and "Butch" Hanton cursed fervently 
as he saw two clowns enter. They wore baggy suits of spotted 
design and little conical hats. Their faces were powdered and 



226 Chicago Stories 

streaked. One was a large man, and he was especially ridicu- 
lous in such a costume. 

"Hello, Choe," he shouted, and there was a rattling Ger- 
man guttural in his voice. "Let us haf two peers." 

"Good crowd over there to-night?" asked the bartender. 

"Fine — ef'rybody hafing a goot time." 

The four card-players had dropped their cards and were 
gazing at the two strange visitors. Evidently their contempt 
was too deep for expression. 

The two clowns drank their beer. The larger one benev- 
olently laid his hand on the shoulder of the other and then 
began to sing. To the unaccustomed ear it sounded thus, and 
they did it with tremendous vigor: 

Hi-lee! Hi-lo! 
Hi-lee! Hi-lo! 
By untz gates immer, 
Gay-linger, Gay-schllimmer, 
Hi-lee! Hi-lo! 
Hi-lee! Hi-lo! 
By untz gates immer ve-zo ! 

As they concluded the last line "Butch" Hanton threw a 
piece of chalk (used for marking scores) and hit the larger 
clown on the ear. The big fellow turned to the four at the 
table and bowed. "Goot shot, poys," he said. "Come and 
haf a drink." 

The four exchanged sullen glances and did not move. 

"You fellows ain't stopped, have you?" asked Joe. "Come 
up and have something on Chris. Chris, these boys are all 
friends of mine. Shake hands with 'em." 

Chris extended his hand toward Jimmy Flynn, who re- 
sponded unwillingly. 

"Say! Here!" Jimmy exclaimed, as he felt something close 
on his hand until the bones ground together. 

Chris released him and seized "Butch" by the hand. 

"For God's sake!" gasped "Butch," crouching half-way to 
the floor. With a backward leap he released his hand and 
rubbed it, while he chewed his lip with pain. 

Chris started toward "Matty," who said "Nix! Nix!" as 
if in anger, and shifted toward the head of the bar. 



zAn Incident in the '"Pansy 1 



227 



"You big sucker, what are you try-in' to do?" demanded 
"Butch," glaring'at the clown. 

Chris smiled horribly through the chalk and said: "Ho! 
Sho! It is all in fun. You shouldt not get mat." 

"Don't get sore about a little thing like that," said Joe, 
who was setting the drinks along the bar. 

"I don't like them fun- 
ny plays," said "Butch." 

"Go on, Chris, and 
show him how well you 
can lift," said Joe, after 
the drinks had been dis- 
posed of. 

"No you don't, object- 
ed "Butch," and he 
backed away. 

"It iss all right," urged 
Chris, following him up. 
"It will not hurt." 

He reached forward 
suddenly and caught 
"Butch" by the shoulder. 

"Stant still," he said. 

"Naw— naw." 

"Go on!" put in the 
bartender, "Chris won't 
hurt you." 

"Butch" looked sheep- 
ishly at the others, and 

then, following directions, he stiffened himself and allowed 
Chris to take hold of him by the ankles and lift him into the 
air, very slowly, until his feet were on a level with the card 
table. 

" Ah-h-h-h-h-h !" said Joe, admiringly. 

Chris lowered his man a few inches, and then, with a sud- 
den upward movement, he tossed "Butch" three feet or more 
toward the ceiling — as he would have tossed a ten-pound bell. 

"Butch" fell on all fours and scrambled to his feet. Joe was 
doubled over behind the bar, screaming with laughter. The 




JOE 



228 Chicago Stories 

others were laughing, too — even Chris, who stood a few feet 
away, with his big shoulders heaving under the spotted suit. 

"I won't stand for it!" exclaimed "Butch," rushing toward 
the big German. "Fatty" grabbed him by the arm and said: 
"Aw, come off! Don't start nothin'." 

"I let no funny guy do that to me." 

"On the dead, I never see a man get sore so quick," said 
Joe, his eyes full of tears from the attack of laughter. "Chris 
meant it in fun — huh, Chris?" 

"Sure. All in fun. Goot-by, Choe." 

The two clowns went out the front way, and Joe gave 
another howl of laughter. 

"You put that guy on to me!" said "Butch," who was hot 
and nervous. 

"What you talkin' about? He done that all in fun. Do you 
know him ? Chris Schleger — the best weight-lifter on the west 
side. I seen him beat a professional one night. You can't 
tell about a guy just becuz you see him in one o' them funny 
suits." 

"The Dutchman's all right," said Jimmy Flynn, and he 
laughed. Then all of them laughed — all except "Butch." 



The Old Spelling School 

I'M AFRAID there isn't going to be much sleighing," 
said the lightning dentist, as he joined the group at the 
Alfalfa European Hotel and kicked the steam radiator 
to get the loose slush off his shoes. 

"What difference does that make to you?" asked the 
"lush," who was sober and melancholy. "If we had snow a 
foot deep you couldn't go sleigh-riding; you can't afford to 
pay #8 a minute for a cutter, can you ? The only winter sport 
that you can get dead cheap in Chicago is a skate." 

"Well, I don't know," said the dentist, seating himself 
and taking a cigar from a red leather case with a silver clasp. 
"I like to see good sleighing, whether I can go out myself or 
not." He snipped off the end of the cigar and remarked to 
the group, "I'm sorry this is the last one." 






The Old Spelling School 229 

As it was well known that the dentist never bought more 
than one cigar at a time, his apology was received with 
polite silence. He would sometimes buy a cigar, put it in the 
case, walk twenty feet, take out the case and remove the 
cigar. 

The dentist was a walking storehouse. He had a cork- 
screw and a patent nail-cleaner attached to his knife. He 
carried a folding toothpick, a card case, a small dictionary, 
a pocket-comb, a cigar-clipper, a pair of scissors and a letter- 
opener. His keys he kept in a hip-pocket anchored to a chain 
which looped around and fastened to a trousers button in 
front. It was his practice to pull out these useful articles and 
fondle them while engaged in conversation. 

* * * 

"Yes, sir, I like to see sleighing," continued the dentist. 
"It makes me think of the time when a crowd of us boys and 
girls used to pile into a bobsled and ride over to McKee's 
Tavern. That was about eight miles from home, straight 
out on the Langdon Pike. Why, we've gone out there some 
nights when it was colder than sin. But we never cared. 
Great Scott! We'd get down in the straw under the buffalo 
robes and snuggle up and have more fun than you could 
shake a stick at — sing and whoop and yell all the way out 
there." 

"Somebody got hugged once or twice, too, I guess," said 
the "lush," with a mere flicker of a smile. 

"Oh, well, I think I've reached once or twice and found 
another man's arm already there." 

"You wouldn't let a little thing like that discourage you, 
would you?" asked "Doc" Home, looking up and taking a 
sudden interest in the talk. 

"Certainly not," replied the dentist, curling his mustache 
at the ends and chuckling modestly. "Those were great 
times. Yes, sir, that was when a man could have a good time 
without spending a dollar every time he turned around. We 
used to take oysters and crackers out with us and along about 
midnight, when we had all danced ourselves black in the 
face, we'd have an oyster supper. Why, we used to have more 
fun in one night than I can have now in a month. I'll bet 



230 Chicago Stories 

you went to many an oyster supper when you were a boy, 
Doc." 

"If you'll stop and think a minute you'll probably realize 
that oysters didn't grow on trees out west here forty or fifty 
years ago," said "Doc," with a quiet wink at the "lush." "I 
went to as many parties as any young fellow in the state of 
Ohio, but I had to get along without oysters. Still, roast 
young pig and some wild game did pretty well as a substitute." 

"Gee! I should say so," remarked the bicycle salesman, 
with enthusiasm. 

"You young men want to remember that we didn't have 
as many railroads in those days," continued "Doc." "Every 
neighborhood had to rely for subsistence very largely on 
what it could produce. Still, I don't know that we suffered 
any. Those were great days." 

"Yes, indeed, doctor," said the book-agent, who had not 
yet dared to use the familiar title. "What you say reminds 
me of the lines: 

" 'Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight, 
And make me a boy again, just for to-night.' " 

"That's great," said the bicycle youth. "Who is that by?" 

"And then there's another thing that always struck me as 
being very pretty," said the book-agent, dodging the ques- 
tion addressed to him. "It's that 

" 'How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood, 
When fond recollection presents them to view.' " 

"That is mighty purty," said the bicycle youth. "Let's 
sing it. I guess we all know it." 

"Nix! Nix!" said the "lush," authoritatively. "I've got 
trouble enough now." 

"Well, as I was saying, when I was 8 years old I could spell 
down the school. My teacher, an eastern man named Fletcher, 
began to brag about what I could do, and so the school in 
the adjoining district sent over a challenge. I went over there 
and spelled down the row in about ten minutes. They didn't 
have as good spellers as some I had beaten right in our own 
school. After that we had a good many spelling-bees in the 
evening. Everybody could compete at these evening meet- 



The Old Spelling School 



231 




BEGAN TO ATTRACT SOME ATTENTION WHEN I WAS 8 YEARS OLD 



ings — old folks and all. Well, it was just the same thing over, 
night after night. We'd run along for an hour or so, and then 
when we got over at the back of Webster's Complete Speller, 
and the fight had dwindled down to about six of us, Mr. 
Fletcher, the teacher, would begin to give out the hardestones 
he could find, and I'd be left alone. I remember one night, 
after I'd spelled the others down, they put the teacher up 
against me, and we spelled back and forth there until the peo- 



232 Chicago Stories 

pie couldn't think of any more words to give us. That Fletcher 
was a remarkable man — remarkable. He became very promi- 
nent afterward." 

"I never was much of a speller," said the bicycle youth, 

sadl y- * * * 

"The best speller in the adjoining county was a teacher 
who lived at Marion's Grove," resumed "Doc." "He had 
laid out everybody in his part of the country, and finally, 
when he heard of the boy wonder, as they called me, he drove 
all the way over to our schoolhouse one night to get my scalp. 
Well, I'll declare," and "Doc" had to stop and shake his 
head and laugh softly. "That was a great night. The school- 
house was packed. Instead of starting in with the whole 
crowd, they just stood the two of us up and let us go at it. 
What do you think was the word he missed — a comparatively 
easy one, too?" 

"I don't know. What was it?" asked the dentist. 

" Peripateticism." 

"That may be easy for you, 'Doc,' but I never heard it be- 
fore. How do you spell it?" 

"That isn't so hard." 

"Well, how do you spell it?" 

"Wait a minute," interrupted the "lush." "Where's a 
dictionary?" 

"I've got a small one here," said the dentist. 

"No, we want a big one. I'll get Steve's. He keeps one in 
there to decide bets." So saying, the "lush" hurried away to 
the bar, while "Doc" leaned back and contemplatively bit at 
his cigar. 

After the "lush" had returned and hunted up the place in 
the book, he asked: "How did you say that was spelled, 
'Doc'?" 

"You've got it there, haven't you?" 

"Yes, but I want to be sure the dictionary has it right." 

This remark appeared to nettle "Doc," who said: "Oh, 
very well, sir. The word is spelled 'p-e-r-i-p-a-t-e-t-a-c-i-s-m." 

"Not this year. It's 't-i-c-i-s-m.'" 

"Well, I said't-i,' didn't I?" 



The Old Spelling School 233 

"You did not. You said 't-a.'" 

"Well, Imeant't-i.'" 

The "lush" said nothing. He slung the dictionary around 
under his arm and started for the bar, whistling "Razzle- 
Dazzle." 



The "Lush" Tries and Fails 

I UNDERSTAND that those southern floods are still 
rising," said the lightning dentist to his friends of the 
Alfalfa European Hotel. " If the rivers get much higher 
there'll be some terrible damage done." 

"If they had built the Mississippi levees as I told them to, 
long before the war, they wouldn't be washed away every 
year," said "Doc" Home. 

"You've been through that flood country, have you 
'Doc'?" asked the "lush." 

"As often as you have fingers and toes," replied "Doc." 
"I think it was in 1857 that I went out from Cairo in charge 
of a relief expedition, and the river was so high that, as far as 
you could see in any direction, nothing but tree tops and the 
roofs of houses showed above the water." 

"Those floods must be awful," said the bicycle salesman, 
with a serious shake of the head. 

* * * 

"My uncle didn't think so," said the "lush," with a pal- 
pable wink at the lightning dentist. "My uncle was living 
down south for his health. He had a small house a short dis- 
tance from Vicksburg. He occupied an upper room, and his 
two negro servants slept downstairs. Well, when the flood 
season came his neighbors were uneasy, and some of them 
moved away, but he was never much of a man to worry about 
trouble until it actually came. He believed that the levee was 
strong enough to hold the current, and he said that even if 
there was an overflow it wouldn't do any more harm than 
dampen his front yard. He took his regular sleep every night, 
and didn't fret. Now what do you think? This will interest 
you, 'Doc.'" 



w 



234 



Chicago Stories 




"we couldn't save him" 



"Yes?" said "Doc," inquiringly. 

"Yes, sir, he awoke one morning and saw a tree just out- 
side his window. He didn't know what to make of it. There 
hadn't been any tree there the night before. He began to 
think that some one had worked a miracle on him, so he got 
up and looked out of the window, and there was a whole 



. 



The "Lush" Tries and Fails 235 

clump of timber in front of him, and the whole country, as 
far as he could see, was inundated. You see, the levee had 
broken during the night and flooded the country for miles. 
The water simply lifted my uncle's house off of its wooden 
foundation and floated it a half-mile or so, and lodged it 
against this patch of timber. He slept through it all." 

"Were the negro servants drowned?" asked the bicycle 
youth. 

"No; they ran away. They were so frightened they didn't 
even stop to arouse my uncle, and he always said he was glad 
they hadn't aroused him, because he hated to get up in the 
night. If I remember it right, the two servants were found in 
a cottonwood tree the next day. It may have been some other 
kind of a tree, but I think it was a cottonwood." 

"Your uncle must have had a hard time getting his house 
back to where it belonged," suggested the bicycle salesman. 

"I suppose he waited until there was another flood, and 
then let it float back," said the dentist. 

"Now, here; this is right — what I'm telling you," said the 
"lush," who pretended to resent these interruptions. "He 
didn't have to move the house at all. The new location over 
by the patch of timber suited him so well that he bought the 
land, had a new foundation put under the house, and it so 
happened that the flood set it down almost exactly on a north 
and south line, so that it didn't have to be moved more than 
three inches to make it face exactly east. The flood brought 
the stable along, too, and dropped it just a short distance 
from the house, so that uncle didn't have very many things 
to move over from the old location." 

"Oh, you get out!" exclaimed the bicycle youth, who was 
beginning to be skeptical. 

* * * 

"Why, there's nothing so remarkable about that," said 
"Doc" Home, as if in reproof of the bicycle salesman." When 
I was out in charge of that relief expedition we picked up in 
midriver a cradle in which a baby was asleep. We learned aft- 
erward that the baby had floated some thirty miles before we 
found it. I presume that the water gave a gentle rocking 
movement to the cradle and kept the child asleep." 



236 Chicago Stories 

"I heard once of water coming into a house and lifting a 
bed in which a man was asleep, floating it out through a nar- 
row doorway and carrying it away without even wetting the 
man," said the "lush." 

At this the dentist arose hastily and walked to the front 
window, as if suddenly attracted by something in the street. 

"Doc" Home looked at the "lush" rather keenly and then 
said, with dry emphasis: "I hardly think so; I hardly think 

so." 

* * * 

There was a pause of a few moments, and then the dentist, 
sauntering back to resume his place, said: "Well, anyway, I 
don't like this wet season of the year." 

"Yes, but we're better off here than they are out in the 
country, where the roads are muddy," said the "lush." 

"That's a fact. Down in Illinois where I used to live we had 
the black prairie mud. At this time of the year it used to take 
four horses to pull a two-wheeled cart with a man and a sack 
of flour in it." 

"Well, you know that other story they tell about the deep 
mud," said the "lush." "I don't suppose it's true, but I 
heard it. It's about the fellow who saw a hat in the street. He 
reached out and picked it up, and there was a man's head un- 
der it. This man under the hat looked up at him and said: 
'Cheese it; I'm stealin' a ride on top of an omnibus.' Of 
course, I don't believe the story, but it was told to me." 

"That story commands respect solely on account of its 
age," said "Doc" Home, relighting his cigar, "but, as a mat- 
ter of fact, gentlemen, anyone who saw this western country 
in the earlier days can tell you some remarkable stories. Why, 
right down here in Chicago, before they put down the cordu- 
roy roads, wagons used to mire down in Clark Street, and any 
one who lived as far out as Evanston or La Grange had to 
swim half of the way to get to Chicago at this time of the 
year. 

"On the occasion of my first visit here a man named Simp- 
son and I used to take a great many horseback rides out into 
the surrounding country. He was trying to sell me some 
tracts of so-called farm land, but it was really swamp and 



The "Lush" Tries and Fails 237 

raw prairie, and I couldn't see my way clear to buy. Most of 
it is worth from #100 to #1,000 a front foot now, but that's 
neither here nor there. 

"As I said, we used to take many horseback rides together. 
It was in May, and we were having some very warm weather, 
following a season of continued rains. The roads had been 
practically impassable for weeks, but they were drying rap- 
idly, especially on top. You have doubtless seen, gentlemen, a 
muddy road with this dry crust. At intervals along the roads 
there were deep rucks, or 'mud-holes,' as they were called. 
When a mud-hole dries rapidly a cracked and flaky crust 
forms on top, and the large flakes curl up and warp in the 
sun. Often enough the crust will be as dry as a bone, while 
underneath are several feet of soft mud. I don't know that 
you ever heard the term, gentlemen, but in those days a mud- 
hole with this deceptive dry crust on top was called a 'lob- 
lolly.' Often it would require weeks of warm weather to dry 
out one of those places. 

* * * 

"Well, as I started to tell you, Simpson and I came to one 
of these low places in the road. It seemed dry, even dusty, on 
top, but I had had some experience in prairie country, so I 
told Simpson to go slow. He had been out from the east but a 
short time, and thought he knew it all. He started across. Of 
course, the dry shell broke through as if it were thin ice, and 
the first thing he knew he and the horse were stuck deep in 
the softest mire I ever saw. I jumped off my horse and threw 
him one end of my hitch-rein, and pulled him out. I supposed 
of course, that the horse could get out of the mud if relieved 
of the weight. He couldn't, though. The more he struggled, 
the deeper he went. I had heard of horses sinking in quick- 
sand, but that was the first and only time I saw a horse sink 
right down into the mud." 

"Did he go clear in under?" asked the bicycle salesman. 

"Yes, he sank completely out of sight, and we had to stand 
there helpless. We couldn't save him. I understand that later 
in the summer some of the men dug down, out of curiosity, to 
see how far he had sunk, and they had to dig about five feet 
before they came to the saddle." 



238 Chicago Stories 

"'Doc,' that cigar doesn't seem to be burning very well," 
said the "lush." "Try a fresh one." 

Only the dentist knew that this was a delicate act of sur- 
render on the part of the "lush," who had prophesied early 
in the evening that he would tell a story that would keep 
"Doc" quiet all evening. 



An Experiment in Philanthropy 

BENTLEY was going to his home on the north side the 
other evening, whistling softly and comfortably, when 
a shadowy figure stepped out of a Dearborn Avenue 
doorway and slunk along beside him, mumbling some unin- 
telligible request. 

"What's that?" queried Bentley, stopping short. 

"Mister, I'm hungry; I " 

"Well, what of it?" interrupted Bentley, tartly. "What 
are you telling it to me for? What makes you think that it's 
anything to me?" 

In the light of a street lamp Bentley could see a flickering 
indication of humor in the young fellow's eyes. 

"I might make you a lot o' trouble if I'd die yere on the 
sidewalk; you'd have to be a witness or somethin', wouldn't 
you?" 

Bentley was in a good humor, and the tramp knew it, even 
before Bentley discovered the fact. 

"I'll tell, you," said Bentley, compromisingly, "if you are 
hungry come along with me; I'll give you something to eat, 
but I won't give you any money." 

Together they went into a Clark Street restaurant, where 
the young fellow demonstrated that he was hungry. 

He also demonstrated that he could hold up his end of 
things at lying. 

"Say," said Bentley, as the two turned into the street 
again, "How much money would have satisfied you in case I 
had shelled out when you asked me?" 

"I'd been tickled to death with a dime." 



*An Experiment in Philanthropy 



2 39 




"i MIGHT MAKE YOU A LOT o' TROUBLE" 



" And yet I'm out 35 cents for what you've tucked in here?" 
"That's it; yere I am wit' 35 cents worth of prog in me and 

it's a waste; w'y I'd 'a' lived t'ree days on 35 cents and had 

lodgin', too." 

"See here," said Bentley, after a moment, "you look 

pretty seedy — if you'll come up to my room I'll give you 

something better than you've got on." 



240 Chicago Stories 

Bentley hauled out a lot of clothing from his closet, and, 
after a good deal of picking and sorting, he collected a full 
suit for his queer guest, which he wrapped up neatly in news- 
papers. It was about 11 o'clock; he opened the front door to 
let his alms-taker out. 

"That's all right— that's all right," said Bentley, checking 
the tramp's thanks ; " you're welcome to them, or you wouldn't 
have got 'em." * * * 

" By George, it's late," muttered Bentley, as he went back 
to his room and wound the little alarm clock. "I've got to be 
up early, too." 

Five minutes later he was snoring, as only a man with a 
clear conscience can snore without awakening. 

About 1 o'clock Bentley became conscious that somebody 
was pounding at his door. 

"Who's there?" he called, sitting up with a snort. 

"It's me," came the voice of his landlady; "there's a police 
officer wants to see you." 

Bentley's eyes bulged, and he was out of bed in an instant. 

"Me?" he faltered, gulping and trying to remember if he 
had done anything deserving of arrest. 

"Yes; he's waiting in the parlor." 

Tremblingly, Bentley dressed himself and went down- 
stairs. A big patrolman was sitting there, with his cap on. 

"Are you Mr. Bentley?" he asked. 

"Yes." 

"Well, we've pinched a friend of yours, who says that you'll 
go on his bail." 

"What's his name?" queried Bentley, greatly relieved. 

"He wouldn't give it; he says he's innocent and that you'll 
fix it all right." 

"What was he arrested for?" 

"I don't know; he's over there at the station, and it won't 
take you long to see him." 

Bentley got his coat and hat. 

" Pretty tough, getting a man out of bed at this hour, and 
asking him to put up some cold dollars to help another fellow 
out of jail." 



zAn Experiment in Philanthropy 241 

The officer admitted that it was, and the two tramped on 
in silence, with Bentley wondering who on earth the friend 
could be and what he could have done. 

At the station he was taken downstairs, and there, with his 
dirty face close to the bars, was the tramp. 

"You!" exclaimed Bentley. 

"Yes; pinched me for carryin' them clothes you give me. 
You give 'em to me, didn't you?" 

"Certainly I did, but " 

"He was talkin' straight, was he?" queried the lieutenant 
on duty. 

"Yes, about the clothes; I don't know what else he may 
have lied about, though," said Bentley. 

"He wasn't answering very straight when he was picked 
up, so we run him in," explained the desk sergeant. 

"Well, I guess we'll turn him loose," said the lieutenant, 
"but before we do you'd better give him a note to the effect 
that you gave him the clothes. He may call you out of bed 
again, if you don't." 

"I'll tell you, Mr. Bentley," began the tramp, apologeti- 
cally, "I thought as it was your clothes that got me in this 
box, you ought to help get me out and " 

"The devil you did!" returned Bentley, shortly, turning 
on his heel and walking upstairs. 

* * * 

"You can bet your life on this," said Bentley, winding up 
his hard-luck story the next morning; "if ever I give any- 
thing to a beggar again it will be either cash or nothing — 
probably nothing." 



242 



Chicago Stories 




STATE STREET 



In the Roof Garden 



OLLIE and Fred were up at the roof garden one night 
this week and it was just like getting into the younger 
set to sit and listen to them. 

Ollie wore one of his new summer suits, with the adhesive 
trousers, and his soft white hat had been folded in from the 
top until it was not much higher than the silvery hat-band. 
Fred was in blue and held his gloves all evening. They tilted 
forward as they walked along the aisle and both of them 
stared seriously into space. 

"Say, old man, where shall we sit?" asked Ollie, halting 
suddenly. 

"I don't mind, old chap." 

"We might sit at this table." 

"All right. Can we get a table to ourselves?" 

"I don't know, old man. I think so." 

"Well, let's sit here." 

"All right." 

"Well, you take this place." 

"No, really, old chap, you know, I don't care so much for 
the show." 

"I'd rather you would." 

"No, really, I'd just as soon sit here." 

"Would you, really, old man?" 

"Yes, I would, really." 

So they seated themselves and Fred picked up a pro- 
gramme. 

"What's on the bill, old man?" asked Ollie. 

"I don't know who they are." 

"I'll tell you who I'd like to see to-night." 

"Who's that?" 

"Vesta Tilly." 

"That's right. I think she's great." 

"She's dog-goned fine." 

"I liked Yvette Guilbert, too." 

"Yes, I think she's elegant." 

"Did you think she was good-looking?" 

243 



244 Chicago Stories 

"No, I didn't think she was, but Billy Pendleton says he 
thinks she's good-looking." 

"The dickens he does! No, I don't think she is." 

"Neither do I. She's good, though." 

"Yes, I always thought she was elegant." 

"You know when she sings those French songs, there's 
something — I don't know, but she has that — well, by George, 
she's fine." 

"Yes, I always thought she was great. I wish Anna Held 
was here to-night. Don't you like her?" 

"Yes, I liked her pretty well." 

" I think she's elegant. There's something, you know, when 
she comes out and starts in — well, you know — er — . It's 
something in the — you can't hardly say what it is, but I think 
it's fine, don't you?" 

"Yes, she's elegant. Did you buy a picture of her?" 

"Yes, I've got mine in that frame where I used to have 
Delia Fox." 

"Say, old man, is Delia Fox married?" 

"I'll be dog-goned if I know. Somebody told me she was, 
and then I heard somewhere else that she wasn't." 

"Lean over here, your tie's coming up." 

"The dickens it is! If anything makes me mad it's to have 
my tie come up." 

"I should say so. It's horrible." 

"I used to have trouble all the time with my ties coming 
up, but, by George, you know, Crossley made me some new 
shirts that won't let your tie work up at all. They're great." 

"I must get me some." 

"That's what you want to do, old man. Tell Crossley I 
sent you." 

"What did Crossley charge you for your last shirts?" 

"I don't know. He sent the bill to the guv'nor. Say, tell 
that dog-goned waiter to come over here." 

Ollie beckoned to a waiter, who came up briskly and asked : 
"Well, what will it be, gents?" 

Ollie flinched as if cut by a whip, and then he gave the 
waiter a reproving look. 

"What do you want, old man?" he asked. 



In the Roof Cjarden 



245 




"Oh, I'll be dog-goned if I care." 

"Don't you want some beer?" 

Fred glanced apprehensively to right and left and then 
said in a careless manner, brushing his trousers leg with the 
gloves, "I don't care, old chap. Go ahead and order." 

"Waiter, have you good beer here?" asked Ollie. 



246 Chicago Stories 

"Sure," replied the waiter. "How many— two?" 

"Yes — I think so," said Ollie. "Say, waiter, now don't be 
in a hurry. Have you got mugs here?" 

"Two mugs you want?" 

"What do you think about it, old man?" 

"Yes, I'd just as soon have mine in a mug." 

"All right, waiter, two mugs." 

The waiter dashed away, and Ollie looked after him, mood- 
ily. "Dog-gone!" he exclaimed. "It makes me mad to have a 
waiter try to hurry me." 

"That's right." 

"Do you see anybody you know?" 

"No; I guess it's all right." 

"Hat Elliott saw me drinking beer here one night last 
summer and she raised the dickens with me." 

"Oh, thunder! A man's got a right to drink a mug of beer 
if he wants it." 

"Well, that's what I said." 

"Will Martin says that in the east everybody drinks beer 
out of mugs." 

"Look out, Ollie, there's Mr. Kirby coming." 

The two sat very quiet as an elderly gentleman passed 
along the aisle. Just as he was passing the waiter brought the 
two mugs. 

"Do you think he saw us?" asked Fred. 

"What the dickens do I care?" said Ollie. He took a gulp 
of the fluid and made a sour face. "Got a cigarette, old man ? " 
he asked, throwing himself back in the chair. 

"Yes, I've got a new Turkish kind here. I think they're 
great." 

"I had some up at Burchard's the other night that were 
elegant. George Burchard got them in New York." 

"Is that so?" 

"Yes," and he lighted the cigarette which he had chosen 
from Fred's leather case. He timidly inhaled a draw of smoke 
and then said, hoarsely: "These seem to be nice." 

"Yes," replied. Fred, holding up one of the cigarettes and 
studying it with judicial calm, "they're fine." 

"You're not drinking your beer, old man." 






In the Roof (garden 247 

"Oh, I'll drink it all right. How is it— strong?" 

"Not very. I don't like beer if it's too light." 

"Neither do I." 

They puckered their lips and took a sip apiece and then sat 
in silence for awhile, dreamily pulling at the cigarettes. 

Then Ollie suddenly asked: "Say, old man, do you like my 
Tuxedo coat?" 

"Yes; I think it's all right." 

"Billy Pendleton said he thought it was too long." 

"The dickens he did! He needn't talk, dog-gone it! You 
know those new shirts of his?" 

"Yes." 

"Uncle Bob got some exactly like them two years ago in 
New York. Billy thought they were something new." 

Both of them smiled wearily at the expense of Billy Pendle- 
ton, and settled further down in their chairs. 

Ollie resumed the conversation. 

"Crossley's got some dandy hatbands," he said. 

"Yes. I was looking at them. They're fine." 

"I bought-" 

But just then the orchestra broke in and the remainder 
was lost. 



The Hickey Boy in the Feathers 

ME WITH a bunch o' the grip," said the Hickey 
boy. "Me the livin' drug store." 
"But you're game enough to hit the cigaroot." 
"Gee, I need my student's lamp now an' then, no matter 
how poor I'm feelin', but it looked for awhile as if I'd have to 
cut these little paper things for sure. They had me in the 
feathers with about seven kinds o' dope shot into me." 
"I ain't seen you since Tuesday." 

"Well, you ain't missed nothin', becuz I certainly have 
been a shellfish this week. The gong sounded Monday after- 
noon. I shook hands with one o' them microbe boys, and us 
mixin' it. Old Hickey's been on the ropes most o' the time 



248 Chicago Stories 

since then. Say, ain't that enough to jar you? To think that 
this whole business is started by some little eight-legged 
dingus so small that you can't see a thousand of 'em. I 
thought it wuz a kid, on the level. When I went in to see Doc 
Tuesday morning I piped him about it and says: 'Is it right 
or is it Sunday-paper talk?' I been readin' them Sunday 
papers so long I don't believe nothin' no more. I says: 'Do 
you stand for it, Doc?' He says: 'Sure thing.' He says: 'For 
all I know there's seven million o' them grip things floatin' 
around in this room now.' 'Hully cheez,' I says, 'what 
chance has a guy got against the grip bazazas when they 
come at you a million in a bunch? There ain't a thing to it. 
No matter which way you dodge you find Mr. Grip Razma- 
taz waitin' with a stiff left for you. They got that smokeless- 
powder game beat to a pulp. There's no gettin' away from it. 
They've got you in a pocket, an' it's a case of you busy with 
the quinine or else you're whipsawed to a horrible finish. 
Say, I wish I could give you the line o' talk that Doc passed 
to me about these grip umptaloriums — wha' d'youcall'em?" 

"Germs." 

"Sure! That's easy. All you got to do is to think of Ger- 
mans. When I slipped him the dollar I says to him: 'Doc, you 
got past me with most o' them long boys, but any guy that 
can spring 'em an' make good, mind you, an' get away with 
'em the way you do, is certainly entitled to his little old case 
note.' All about the mucous membranus and the broncho 
bazazas gettin' mixed up with the wallyollopis, down in the 
gazalium. Ooh! Madge! When he got through tellin' me 
about it an' spread me from the coin I says: 'Lead me back 
home an' do things to me. I'm a twenty-five hunderd to one 
in the winter book, an' not a thing doin'.' Then me to the 
house again. You ought to seen me. The lamps all red an' a 
tongue that felt like one o' them sofa pillows. I'm livin' at my 
sister's house, an' her, you know, wiser'n any doctor. Oh, 
easy! Out in the kitchen, cookin' up stuff forme. When she 
brought it in I looked it over an' says: 'No, not unless you 
hurry it into me while I'm asleep.' She says: 'You don't eat 
this. This is a poultice for your chest.' So me up against this 
stuff an' hollerin' plenty. I thought it wuz all off with me. 



The Hie key "Soy in the Feathers 249 

'Here/ I says, 'From now on we scratch the home doctorin'. 
I'll take the stuff that Doc give me an' let it go at that.' 
Could I stop her? Not for a minute. Think o' the handicap, 
too. Me laid out on the sofa an' her sneakin' on me every 
little while to get somethin' into me before I had a chance to 
holler. If I'd took the stuff she fixed up for me, say, me with 
the silver handles right now. That's right. When I couldn't 
stand it no longer, me up an' makin' my beller. I says: 'I 
don't want to start nothin' in the Hickey family, but if you 
try to shoot any more poison into me I can see myself 
swingin' on you.' She says: 'Now, I'm tellin' you, this'll do 
you good.' 'You give it to your husband,' I says. 'You don't 
know but what them microbes live on this stuff you've fixed 
up here.' I says. 'I'm after 'em with Doc in my corner, and if 
you don't keep out o' the ring I may forget that you're my 
sister.' Well, that held her for awhile." 

"Did you have it bad?" 

"I had it worse'n that. Monday afternoon I felt like I'd 
been run over by an ice-wagon three or four times. All the 
insides o' me wuz lumpy. I could 'a' swore I'd swallered a 
couple o' dumbbells and they'd settled in my back, an' the 
head was a lily. No eyes at all. Just a couple o' poached eggs, 
that's all. Me settin' around on my shoulder-blades lookin' 
like one o' these bamboo boys full o' the hop. I looked like the 
West Baden finish of an election bat. No, I couldn't see a 
thing to it. On the dead, I hoped it'd be a case o' die, becuz I 
couldn't- see any other way o' ketchin' even with the blonde. 
Monday night it wuz all in-fightin' with the bedclothes an' 
dodgin' things that come up over the edge o' the bed. Me up 
tryin' to cool the nut with a wet towel an' seein' myself 
booked for the crazy house. Tuesday mornin' I says to the 
sister: 'Get on your nursin' clothes, for it's me to his whisk- 
ers,' and in an hour I'm back with all they could spare from 
the drug store. It's one kind every two hours and another 
every three an' another before I went to bed, to say nothin' 
of a nice warm plaster that was goin' to help some. It's a 
wonder I didn't get mixed on my dates an' land myself. At 
that, I think I'm dotty the minute I begin to feed myself the 
quinine an' all them other allypozacks in the blue boxerinos." 

"Did it give you a ringing in the ears?" 



250 



Chicago Stories 




INCIDENTAL TO THE HICKEY BOYS SET-TO WITH THE GRIP 

" It give me worse'n that. I think it had me scrambled be- 
tween the ears. On the square, there must 'a' been knock-out 
drops in it. Night before last I took a little of everything Doc 
gave me, then into the sweater an' all wrapped up. It wuz a 
new one on me, how you're goin' to sweat out anything like 






The Hie key 'Soy in the Feathers 251 

them grip things with claws on 'em. I says : ' I think they can 
stand it as long as Hickey can.' But me under the blanket, 
becuz that's what the Doc orders. Well, I must 'a' reduced 
seventeen pounds, an' when I did get to sleep I had a dream 
that'd jolt anybody. When I woke up I had my head over 
one edge of the bed an' was tryin' to bite a hole in the pillow. 
Now, listen! Here's a poor one! Me a walkin' down the street, 
when I comes to one o' these gangs repairin' this block pavin', 
understand? You've seen 'em where they put down them 
blocks and push the gravel in between an' then pour this hot 
tar over the whole thing. There wuz a copper standin' on the 
corner watchin' the gang work, an' when they see me every- 
body hollers an' comes at me on the run. I didn't know what 
wuz doin', but I put up a swell race for about seven miles, 
then me in the gravel and about fourteen on top. Well, what 
do you think they done? This is just to show where the stuff 
put me. They drags me back an' chucks me into Mr. Big- 
iron- thing that they melt the tar in. Hot? Holy sufTerin' mack- 
erel! Me pushin' up the lid, you know, an' puttin' out the 
head to get a little fresh air, an' the copper givin' me an 
awful belt across the head every time an' sayin: 'G'wan, get 
back in there!' I'd duck back in an' do my two or three 
minutes settin' up to my neck in this stuff, boilin' hot — 
understand? — an' then up with the lid an' take another 
wallop. Oh, I wuz havin' a lovely time. I guess I must have 
hollered, becuz the first I remember wuz the sister wras'lin' 
with me an tellin' me to lay down an' keep quiet. I made a 
couple o' passes at her an' told her to give me a gallon o' 
water. She says: 'You seem to be a little feverish.' 'Oh, I 
don't know,' I says, all the time tryin' to crawl up on top o' 
the headboard. Oh, me up in the air! Say, if that's what them 
little grip things does to you, I'm glad they don't grow the 
size o' rabbits." 



A Social Call 



AFTER spending the evening at the home of Miss 
L\ Flora Shadley the members of the commune came 
JL JL home on the last cable car and sat down to talk it 
over. 

"A little request, Barney," said Jim. "The next time we go 
out for an evening of social intercourse, you kindly omit the 
bay rum." 

Barney — "Could you notice it?" 

Jim — " Could we notice it! It silenced the Welsh rabbit and 
the Camembert cheese. You know when Miss Shadley opened 
the window — well, you were the cause." 

Barney — "I couldn't help it. The barber put it on." 

Mac — "I suppose you told him that you were going to 
call on a lady friend." 

Barney — "No; I didn't tell him where I was going." 

Jim — "But you did tell him you were going somewhere?" 

Barney — "Well, what if I did? I just asked him to do a 
good job, that's all." 

Mac — "Well, Barney, if you are going to travel in our set 
you mustn't talk about your social engagements while you 
are having your hair cut. I may be a stickler for good form, 
but it is not what I would call the proper sort of thing. No 
offense, old chap, you understand? Merely a friendly sug- 
gestion." 

Barney — "You go to blazes! I don't want to take any les- 
sons in deportment from any man who spills things all over 
the table. Gee! but I was ashamed of you to-night." 

Mac— "Somebody had to turn in and put a little life into 
the party. Why didn't you volunteer to dish out the Welsh 
rabbit?" 

Barney — "Because you claimed to be an expert. Why, a 
person hearing you talk would have thought you prepared 
three meals a day on the chafing-dish. Say, Jim, did you hear 
what he told Miss Shadley? He said: 'We're going to get a 
chafing-dish for our apartments.' Not 'room,' mind you, but 
'apartments.' By the way, Mac, when are you going down to 
pick out that chafing-dish?" 

252 



<tA Social Call 253 

Mac — "Just as soon as you pay me for that hat of mine 
that you lost off the train." 

Jim — "Now will you be good, Barney?" 

Barney — " 'T was a cruel rebuff." 

Mac — " But did you hear what Jim said when he was turn- 
ing the music for her? She looked up at him and asked, 'Have 
you a piano in your apartments?' and Jim said: 'Not yet.' 
You know the way he said it. It meant that he had ordered 
the piano, but the men hadn't delivered it, although he was 
expecting them at any moment." 

Jim — "Well, what did you want me to say? You began it 
by speaking of 'apartments.' It wouldn't have sounded very 
well for me to say, 'We can't afford a piano, and even if we 
had one there wouldn't be any room for it.' " 

Barney — "Why not? Miss Shadley thinks we're sure- 
enough bohemians. I dare say she'd regard us with much 
more interest if she thought we lived in a garret with no 
light except a candle stuck in a bottle." 

Jim — "We come near enough to the garret and the candle 
to suit me." 

Mac — "I believe Jim is right. When you are in society a 
little judicious lying is a good thing." 

Barney — "That's what I thought when I heard you talk- 
ing about grand opera. As I understand it, Mac, you are in- 
tensely fond of grand opera, but you didn't get around to it 
as often as you desired, during the last season." 

Mac-"That's right." 

Barney — "You'll excuse my inquisitive persistence, I 
trust, but — how many performances did you attend, as a 
matter of fact?" 

Mac — "Well, I happened to be very busy about that 
time." 

Barney — "We understand that and I suppose it just hap- 
pened that your dates conflicted, so that you didn't get 
around to grand opera at all." 

Mac — "Perhaps not, but I love it just the same." 

Jim — "I can understand that. 'Absence makes the heart 
grow fonder.' Now, the more seldom I hear Barney sing the 
greater is my admiration for his voice." 



254 Chicago Stories 

Mac — "I should say so! What in the world induced you to 
try and sing there to-night, Barney?" 

Barney — "You did, both of you. You got her started and 
there wasn't any way out of it. Didn't both of you ask me to 
sing?" 

Jim — "Yes; but haven't you learned to take a joke?" 

Barney — "My candid opinion is that you fellows are 
jealous. I take notice that Flora told me I was all right." 

Mac — "That isn't what she told me when we were out in 
the hallway. She said she thought you ought to take lessons." 

Barney — "Now, be fair. She didn't say it in that way at 
all. She told me the same thing. What she said was that I had 
a good voice and ought to — to improve it." 

Jim-"That's right." 

Barney — "No — now don't interrupt. She said my voice 
was good enough to warrant me in devoting myself to vocal 
study." 

Mac — "That isn't what she said to me at all. She simply 
said she thought you ought to study." 

Barney — "About what time in the evening did you develop 
this conversational streak? I didn't see you do very much 
talking with her. For a man who is so free with his talk on the 
outside you are the clammiest man in a parlor that I ever did 
see. I, whom you derided, dashed right in and was up at the 
piano in less than no time, while you, supposed to be a high- 
toned composite of Beau Brummel, Lord Chesterfield and 
Ward McAllister — why, you didn't breathe for twenty min- 
utes after we went into the place. You were sitting humped 
over in one of those Roman chairs that's shaped like a saw- 
buck and I thought for awhile you were asleep." 

Jim — "Oh, no; he was awake. Didn't you hear what he 
said?" 

Barney — "Did he speak?" 

Jim — "Of course he did. He said one of the cleverest 
things. He looked over at Miss Shadley and said, 'Won't you 
play something?' " 

Barney — "Yes, I remember now. That indicated great 
presence of mind." 

Mac — "Well, I think there is such a thing as being alto- 



*A Social Call 255 






.¥0 
.2.0 
.2.0 

. 30 

.& 
.1 




.•7 



gether too much at home on short acquaintance. I prefer to 
dawn on people gradually." 

Jim— " You want to break it to them gently, eh?" 
Mac — "Well, I don't regard modesty as entirely unbecom- 
ing, and I don't like to overdo the eating the first time I am 
invited to a place." 

Barney — "Say, that was a beautiful layout for a small 
lunch, wasn't it? There must have been five dollars' worth of 
stuff on that table." 



256 Chicago Stories 

Jim— "Great Scott! What do you think of that, Mac? 
There's one result of this restaurant education. As soon as 
Barney sat down at that table he began to count the sand- 
wiches and estimate what they'd cost if he had to go out and 
buy them by the piece. Isn't that a nice way in which to 
speak of a light lunch served by our charming hostess — 
'about five dollars' worth of stuff on the table'? Well, that 
beats anything I ever heard of." 

Barney — "Oh, you needn't be sarcastic. I merely meant to 
indicate that it was a good lunch." 

Mac — "After he finished I saw him feeling for his check." 

Barney—" I'm glad I didn't find it." 

Mac — "How much do you think you got out of it, 
Barney?" 

Barney — "That's all right. I got what I wanted." 

Mac — "I guess you did. A couple of dollars' worth, think 
you? Enough to pay you for your time and trouble?" 

Barney — "I'm not complaining." 

Jim — "I'm counting up here just how he came out. Of 
course he spent a little money, and that will have to be sub- 
tracted, but I should judge that he made a business success 
of the evening." 

Jim had taken out his fountain pen and was figuring on a 
pad of paper. 

Mac — "What did you say the total was, Barney — five 
dollars?" 

Barney (with irony) — "Five dollars and ten cents. I forgot 
to count the pickles the other time." 

Jim — "Now, wait a minute and I'll show you how the ac- 
count stands." 

He finished his writing and handed over an itemized state- 
ment showing that Barney had taken refreshments to the 
value of #1.80 and had spent 70 cents on account of his 
evening out. 

Mac — "That 10 cents for soap hadn't ought to be counted, 
because that will last him for a long time. I think that he had 
three cigars instead of two. I saw him put one in his pocket to 
smoke after while. Barney must be at least #1.25 ahead. But 
I do hate to see a man take such a sordid and mercenary 
view of an evening call." G. A. 



At "Larry's Lunch" 

THE place known as "Larry's Lunch" is a narrow hole 
in the wall between two frame houses. The buildings 
are so old and weak that they lean toward each other 
in their decrepitude. The street in front is muddy and cob- 
bled. Street lamps are far apart. They burn low, as if there 
was not the oxygen in this neglected air to feed a cheerful 
flame. The sunken and rotting sidewalk of wood is slippery 

to the foot. 

* * * 

A kerosene lamp propped in the front window of "Larry's 
Lunch" showed as a mere smudge of light behind the dirty 
panes. 

John Hazen lifted the loose iron latch, and there came into 
his nostrils, like the breathing from a foul creature, the smell 
of poverty, frying grease and bad tobacco. 

But he had to eat. He had not eaten for twenty-four hours. 
A Jew dealing in pawns and junk had given him 10 cents for 
his pocket-knife, the last of his convertible property. 

At "Larry's Lunch" he could get meat, bread, potatoes 
and coffee for 10 cents. He ordered and then leaned forward 
on the rough table, with his chin in his hands, while the meat 
sizzled in the pan and a rancid smoke filled the low room. 

His uncle had been right. 

"You take your share of the money and go to Chicago and 
you'll be broke within six months," the uncle had said. 
"You're a fool with money. Any man's a fool with money 
unless it's money he's earned." 

"I know my business," he had said to his uncle. 

After which they had parted, with the understanding that 
if John Hazen ever needed money he would not come to his 
uncle for it. 

Yes, his uncle had been right. A fool with his money? Dia- 
monds which he had worn clumsily — bravado betting at the 
racetracks — loans to new-made friends — experiments at the 
bucket shops. Six months of it and he had just sold his 
pocket-knife that he might eat a shred of carrion in this hole 
and be alive for another day. 

257 



258 Chicago Stories 

Oh, what a triumph for those who had warned him — those 
who had told him he was a fool with money! What rejoicing 
there would be at home when they heard of it — and they 
would hear of it, because in small towns they hear of every- 
thing. They would be glad, he was sure — all except Aunt 
Ella. 

"She was the only one who ever cared for me," he said, 
half aloud, grinding his fists on the table. "But I don't care." 

Then, because he didn't care he let his head fall down into 
the angle of his right arm and there in the darkness which he 
had made for himself he cried. He was only 22 years old. 

The front door clicked and slammed. Larry, who was both 
cook and waiter (in a red flannel shirt chopped off at the el- 
bows), brought the meat and coffee. John Hazen pulled him- 
self up from the table. Before him, talking to Larry, stood a 
very small young man, with square shoulders, a pointed 
nose, jet-black eyes and a mouth twitching into a smile 
whenever he spoke. This young man wore a plaid cap, with a 
short peak. His coat collar was turned up, and within it was 
a blue and white handkerchief knotted closely around his 
neck. 

"If he comes around here, you tell him I want to see 
him," this young man was saying to Larry. 

"All right, Eddie." 

At that moment the young man named Eddie looked down 
and saw John Hazen's face, streaked with tears. Possibly he 
was surprised to know that a man may weep. Let it be as- 
sumed that he was prompted by impudent curiosity. He 
spoke to the young man at the table. 

"What's the matter?" he asked. "Don't the steak suit 
you?" 

"You'll have to excuse me," said Hazen, trying to laugh. 
"I'm hoeing a pretty hard row just at present. I s'pose I was 

kind o' weak from not eating or I wouldn't have " and 

he stopped. 

"What do you think of that?" asked Eddie, speaking to 
the proprietor, who had gone back to his stove. 

Larry nodded wisely and smiled. Eddie stood and watched 
Hazen tear at the fibrous strip of meat and take long gulps of 
the hot coffee. 



zAt Larry s hunch 259 

"First to-day?" he asked. 

"Yes," answered Hazen, who was divided between shame 
and hunger. 

"How did you get the price?" 

"I sold my knife." 

"What if you hadn't any knife?" 

"I don't know." 

"How long you been in town?" 

"About six months." 

"Nice town, ain't it?" 

Hazen shook his head dubiously and made an effort to 
smile. 

Eddie threw back his head and laughed aloud. 

"This is one o' the cases," he said, calling to Larry. "Is it 
any wonder they start out?" Then to Hazen: "Why didn't 
you stop some fellow and ask him to let you have a nickel or 
two?" 

"Because I'm not a beggar." 

"That's the way to talk ["exclaimed Eddie, and he laughed 
again. Hazen looked up at him, much puzzled. 

"Where you goin' to-night?" 

"I don't know. There are two or three places where I'm 
going to call again to-morrow to see about a job." 

"The job you stand a chance of gettin' to-morrow or next 
week ain't very much help to you to-night, is it?" asked 
Eddie, with a quizzical grin. 

"This is a new experience for me," said Hazen. "I've 
heard about fellows being up against it this way, but I never 
thought I'd come to it." 

"You don't care much for it, as far as you've got, do you?" 

Hazen looked up again, undecided whether Eddie was 
sympathizing with him or taunting him. 

"I wish I had the money I had six months ago," he said 
bitterly. "They wouldn't take it away from me this time." 

Eddie leaned across the table and gave Hazen a hard but 
playful blow in the ribs. 

"You're all right," he said, laughing again. "I'll just stake 
you to a bed to-night." 

When Hazen had eaten the last crumb of bread and drained 



260 



Chicago Stories 




NICE TOWN, AIN'T IT?" 



the last drop of coffee he followed Eddie across the muddy 
street and up a dark stairway into a room that held a bed, a 
table, a chair and a zinc-bound trunk. The bed-clothes were 
in confusion. 

"Roll in there next to the wall an' dream you've got all 
your money back," commanded Eddie, who had squatted on 
the trunk, giving the only chair to his guest. Hazen slept with 
Eddie that night and went to breakfast with him next morn- 
ing, at a 15-cent place. 

"If you don't strike anything to-day, come around to- 
night," said Eddie. 






zAt Larry's Lunch 26 1 

Hazen did come back that night to get food and a resting 
place. They were on their way to the room when two big men 
stood before them at a corner. One grabbed Eddie and the 
other held Hazen by the wrist before he had time to dodge or 
retreat. 

"Hello, Mullen," said Eddie to the man who was holding 
him. 

"Hello, Eddie," in a growling voice. "You can't stay 
away, can you?" 

"Why should I, when this is my home? This is the drag- 
net again, I suppose?" 

"I don't know. They told us to bring you in if we found 
you. Who's your friend here?" 

" It'll do me a lot o' good to tell you, won't it? If I say he's 
a young fellow that's gone broke and that I just happened to 
meet him an' stake him for a day or two till he could pick up 
somethin', of course everybody over at the station'll believe 
me?" 

"They may if you tell it good. Come on." 

A few minutes later here were Hazen and the good Samari- 
tan bumping over the granite blocks on their way to the 
police station. Hazen was surprised to find himself indifferent 
to the shame of arrest. 

He concluded that Eddie was known to the police and that 
any one walking along the street with Eddie was already a 
criminal in the eyes of the police. 

"I'm sorry to get you pinched, young fellow," said Eddie, 
through the gloom of the covered wagon. "I ought to have 
told you you was takin' a chance when you went around 
with me." 

"1 don't blame you," said Hazen. "What right did they 
have to arrest either one of us?" 

Eddie laughed and remarked: "You don't half know this 
town." 

The wagon policeman, whose huge bulk was a barrier be- 
tween them and the narrow door, gave a disgusted " aw-w-w," 
in token of the fact that he could not be deceived by their 
talk. He was possessed of a brutal unbelief, which, he thought, 
was a fine quality of discernment. 



™ 



262 Chicago Stories 

At the station they were separated. Hazen gave his right 
name to the man in the cage, much to Eddie's amusement. 
The man in the cage did not have to ask for Eddie's name. 

Hazen slept on a bench and he slept, too, lulled off with a 
mild, impersonal wonder as to what his uncle and his aunt 
would say if they knew that their orphan charge was locked 
up in a police station and had not changed shirts for a week. 
Next morning he ate his heel of bread and drank his tin cup 
of coffee and looked out through the paralleled bars at the 
bedraggled men and women who were being mustered for the 
police court. He could not see Eddie anywhere. Some one 
was whistling at the other end of the corridor. He wondered 
if it was Eddie. 

Then a turnkey in blue came and opened his cell door. 

"Come on," said the turnkey, and Hazen followed up- 
stairs into a hot room, where a big captain with a gray 
mustache sat at the desk. 

The captain looked at Hazen intently and said: "I don't 
know him." 

Other men with mustaches came in and looked at Hazen. 
They didn't know him, either, and they regretted to say it. 
It showed a lack of professional knowledge not to be able to 
identify any stranger as a professional crook. 

"How long have you and Eddie been working together?" 
one of them asked. 

"I've never worked with him," said Hazen. "I've been 
looking for work all week." 

He told them his story — the truth of it. Five big men 
smiled broadly. 

"An' you didn't know Eddie was a dip? "asked the captain. 

"A what?" (Laughter.) 

"A dip." 

"I don't know what you mean." 

"Did you ever hear of pickpockets?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Well, a dip is a pickpocket. That's what Eddie is." 

"I don't care what he is. He did me a good turn. I never 
saw him until night before last." 

"This fellow can be vagged," said one of the big men. 
"He admits himself he's out o' money an' ain't got a job." 



*At Larry s Lunch 263 

"That's why he ain't a vag," said the captain. "The vag 
has always got a job and plenty of money." Then to Hazen: 
"You keep away from Eddie an' his crowd." This meant that 
Hazen was free to go. 

He started to leave the station and was attracted by the 
buzz of the courtroom. He went in, hoping to see Eddie 
again. The crowd around the magistrate was shifting and 
noisy. Cases were being tried, but Hazen could not follow 
them in the confusion of sounds. 

At last he saw Eddie coming out of the throng, held by a 
turnkey. 

He slipped forward along the wall and touched him on the 
arm. 

"Hello, there," he said. 

Eddie turned and grinned. 

"Did you fix it?" he asked. 

"They let me go." 

"It's a wonder — bein' with me." 

"Here, here!" growled the turnkey. "Come on!" 

"I'm sent out," said Eddie. 

"Where?" 

"The Bridewell — I won't be there day after to-morrow. 
Good-by." 

"Say, I want to thank you for " 

"That's all right." 

"You never told me your name." 

"You ask here at the station. They'll give you my his- 
tory." 

"Come on!" said the turnkey, pulling. 

Eddie winked and the battered door closed behind him. 



"Gondola" Wilson's Misfortune 



GONDOLA" WILSON was not a tramp, because he 
knew a trade and he had been known to work. He 
was a tramp in this, however, that he consistently 
refused to pay railway fares. Hence his name. "Gondola" is 
submerged tenth for "flat car." 

He was a journeyman of the restless kind. When he had 
been three weeks in Milwaukee, then St. Paul seemed a more 
desirable place of residence. When in St. Paul he had a tired 
hankering to see the Narcissus lodging house in Chicago. 
After he had arrived at the Narcissus he began to watch the 
trains starting for Cincinnati and longed to curl himself on a 
truck and jolt away to where the muddy stream fronts the 
sloping warehouses. 

Once he was away from the Narcissus for a whole year. 
During his absence he had been "put away." To be "put 
away" is to be held prisoner in a penal or reformatory insti- 
tution. 

The purpose of this story is to relate how "Gondola" 
Wilson, having no criminal intent, became a criminal under 
circumstances which are not usual. 

On the day of his return to the Narcissus (the prison pallor 
on his face and his head cropped to show the white scars) six 
inmates were sitting near the windows reading a morning 
newspaper. They had torn the paper into sheets and divided 
it. The man who had drawn the small "ads" was discontent- 
ed. He could find nothing on his sheet except "Help Want- 
ed." He lowered his paper, and before him sat "Gondola" 
Wilson, seeming yellow in the filtered light. 

"Where's the committee?" asked "Gondola." "Where's 
the triumphal arch, 'Welcome Home?' " 

"You're alive, then?" 

"Alive an' kickin'." 

"If you're alive, it follows that you're kickin'. How long 
has it been?" 

"A year — next month." 

"We missed you when it come to the round-up last fall. 

264 



c ^Qondola' Wilson s zJXCisfortune 



265 



Nobody'd seen you. You've been under a roof, ain't you? 

Hospital?" 

"Put away — a year." 

"You had to go crooked at last, did you?" 

"Well, that's what they called it. I'm lucky they didn't 

hang me. Some of 'em wanted to." 

"Tell me what you done. I ain't the court." 

"Say, listen, an' see if ever you heard the likes before. It 

wuz in October — a year ago last October. I'd walked from 

Loueyville over to Terry Hut with a nigger that played the 

mouth harp. We hid in the 

yards at Terry Hut an' got in- 
to an empty stock that we 

thought wuz headed for Dan- 
ville. Some time in the night a 

brakeman seen us an' fired us 

out. I'd been asleep, an' the 

first thing I remember was 

fallin' out o' the car an' lightin' 

hard, with the coon comin' 

after me. We didn't know 

where we wuz, but could make 

out a sidetrack an' a chute for 

loadin' hogs. About a mile off 

we could see some lights an' 

we judged we wuz near a purty 

goodsized town. Me an' the 

coon started to walk toward 

the town an' then I stopped 

him an' says : 'Here, if we go to 

drillin' around town at this 

time o' night an' one o' them 

country coppers gets a peek at 

us, he'll shoot us first an' then 

ask us our names afterward. Let's crawl in somewheres an' 

sleep till mornin' an' then we'll go in town an' try to round up 

a handout.' Well, just as I wuz sayin' this, we happened to be 

walkin' along past a tall fence. I looked through the cracks 

an' could see one or two lights quite a distance off an' right 




HE COULD FIND NOTHING 
BUT "HELP WANTED" 



266 



Chicago Stories 




near us wuz a long buildin' 
that looked somethin' like a 
barn. It wuz gettin' chilly an' 
I said to this pardner of mine, 
'Coon, gi' me a boost over this 
fence an' I think we can find a 
warmplacehere.' Soweskinned 
over the fence an' come to this 
buildin'. It wuz big an' I still 
thought it wuz a barn. We 
walked around, lookin' for a 
door or window, so't we could 
crawl in. At last this pardner 
of mine — his name 'uz Jeff an' 
I'll kill him if ever I lay eyes 
on him again — Jeff found a lit- 
tle door that wuzn't locked an' 
we went in, feelin' our way 
along, thinkin' you know, that 
we might find some hay or 
straw to sleep on. Purty soon 
Jeff fell over somethin' an' I landed on top of him. We felt 
around us an' discovered that we'd run into a lot o' water- 
melons layin' on the floor. I s'pose the coon was sorry to 
meet them melons, wuzn't he? The first thing I knew he'd 
split one of 'em open an' I could hear him chompin' in the 
dark. Well, I got up an' felt my way along an' purty soon I 
reached out an' what do you s'pose I took holt of there in the 
pitch dark? A plate with about a dozen biscuits on it. Xow, I 
ain't no crook an' I never broke into a house to steal any- 
thing, but I'll leave this to you. If you hadn't had anything 
to eat for eighteen hours an' should happen to crawl into a 
barn at night an' reach out into the dark an' find a dozen 
light biscuits, would you eat 'em or throw 'em away?" 
"I'd prob'ly eat 'em," was the reply. 

"That's what I done, except what I give to Jeff. He found 
a match in his cloze an' struck it, an' we saw in front of us a 
wooden shelf covered with pies an' cakes an' all kinds o' 
cooked stuff. The match only burned for a minute, but we 



"gondola" wilsox 



cc 



Qondola" Wilson s <J)(Cis for tune 



267 



made out that much. Jeff found a plate o' butter, an' we et 
the biscuit with butter, an' I ain't tasted anything like it 
since I ran away from home in Lowell thirty years ago. Then 
Jeff broke a cake in two an' give me half of it. It wuz kind o' 
dry eatin', but we put lots of butter on it. I s'pose I ought 
to have stopped an' remembered that all this provender be- 
longed to somebody, but I wuz so blamed hungry I didn't 
wait to think of nothin'. An' I must say I never seen anybody 
eat the way that coon did. I didn't exactly see him eat, neith- 
er, but I could hear him all right. After he et all the cakes an' 
pies an' biscuits he could lay his hands on he went back to 
watermelon, an' I could hear him sloshin' an' gulpin' there in 
the dark. I started to feel around for a soft place to lay down, 
an' what do you guess? I run into a lot of bed-cloze strung on 
lines." 

"Say, what kind of a pipe is this?" asked the listener, with 
a sidewise turn in his chair, indicating skepticism. 

"It's the truth, every word of it. There must a' been a 
dozen quilts. I pulled 'em down an' me an' Jeff rolled our- 
selves up in 'em an' went to 
sleep. We'd et a lot an' it wuz 
a cold night, an' under them 
warm covers we slept like a 
couple o' logs. Well, the next 
thing I remember somebody 
was shakin' me good an' hard, 
an' I looked up at a fellow that 
had a tin star on his coat an' a 
broomstick in his hand. I kin' 
o' remembered what had hap- 
pened an' looked around. It 
wuz broad daylight. We laid 
there in the infernalest mess of 
eatables you ever seen. People 
wuz pilin' through the doors 
to get a look at us. I don't 
s'pose you've figured out what 
we'd done, so I'll tell you. This 
place we'd got into wuz what 




268 Chicago Stories 

they call Floral Hall at the county fair. All the stuff we'd 
been eatin' wuz the exhibitions of the best biscuits, the best 
watermelons, the best cake, the best butter, an' so on, of the 
whole county. You know the quilt I had around me. It wuz 
made out of about a million little pieces o' silk. The woman 
that made it put in fifteen years on it, an' it wuz supposed to 
be worth two hunderd dollars. That all come out at the 
trial." 

"Well, there must a' been a sore crowd o' grangers around 
there," suggested the listener, after he had leaned back and 
laughed joyfully. 

"Honest, it's a wonder they didn't kill us. We come mighty 
near bustin' up the whole show by eatin' them exhibitions. 
When they led us out o' the grounds an' took us in town to 
the jail there wuz a big crowd followed us an' hollered 
'Lynch 'em!' 'String 'em up!' an' a few more remarks 
like that. That wuz the one time I wuz in a hurry to be in 
jail. Do you know what they made it when it came to a trial? 
Burglary! An' do you know what Jeff done? He got up an' 
swore that I'd hypnotized him. He testified that he didn't 
want to go into this buildin' at all, but I made him by threat- 
enin' to cast a spell over him. You never heard such lyin' in 
your life. They sent him back to jail for three months an' put 
me over the road for a year. They bleached me just about 
right, ain't they? That's all right, though. Look here." 

He put his hand into a raveled side pocket and brought out 
a copy of Henry George's "Progress and Poverty." He made 
a deeper reach and found a brass "knucks" with a blunt 
head and three staring finger-holds. 

"I'm savin' that for the coon," he said. 



Effie Whittlesy 



MRS. WALLACE was in a good humor. 
She assisted her husband to remove his overcoat 
and put her warm palms against his red and wind- 
beaten cheeks. 

"I have good news," said she. 

"Another bargain sale?" 

"Pshaw, no. A new girl, and I really believe she's a jewel. 
She isn't young or good looking, and when I asked her if she 
wanted any nights off she said she wouldn't go out after dark 
for anything in the world. What do you think of that?" 

"That's too good to be true." 

"No, it isn't. Wait till you see her. She came here from the 
intelligence office about 2 o'clock and I put her to work at 
once. You wouldn't know that kitchen. She has it as clean as 
a pin." 

"What nationality?" 

"None — or I mean she's from the country. She's as green 
as she can be, but she's a good soul, and I know we can trust 
her." 

"Well, I hope so. If she is all that you say, why, for good- 
ness' sake give her any pay she wants — put lace curtains in 
her room and subscribe for all the story papers on the market." 

"Bless you, I don't believe she'd read them. Every time 
I've looked into the kitchen she's been working like a Trojan 
and singing 'Beulah Land.'" 

"Oh, she sings, does she? I knew there'd be something 
wrong with her." 

"You won't mind that. We can keep the doors closed." 

* * * 

The dinner table was set in tempting cleanliness. Bradley 
Wallace, aged 8, sat at the left of his father, and Mrs. Wal- 
lace, at the right, surveyed the arrangements of glass and sil- 
ver and gave a nod of approval. Then she touched the bell 
and in a moment the new servant entered. 

She was a tall woman who had said her last farewell to girl- 
hood. She had a nose of honest largeness and an honest spread 

269 



270 Chicago Stories 

of freckles, and yet her face was not unattractive. It sug- 
gested good nature and homely candor. The cap and apron 
were of snowy white. She was modest, but not flurried. 

Then a very strange thing happened. 

Mr. Wallace turned to look at the new girl and his eyes en- 
larged. He gazed at her as if fascinated either by cap or 
freckles. An expression of wonderment came to his face and 
he said: "Well, by George!" 

The girl had come very near the table when she took the 
first overt glance at him. Why did the tureen sway in her 
hands? She smiled in a frightened way and hurriedly set the 
tureen on the table. 

Mr. Wallace was not long undecided, but during that mo- 
ment of hesitancy he remembered many things. He had been 
reared in the democracy of a small community and the demo- 
cratic spirit came uppermost. 

"This isn't Effie Whittlesy?" said he. 

"For the land's sake!" she exclaimed, backing away, and 
this was a virtual confession. 

"You don't know me." 

"Well, if it ain't Ed Wallace!" 

Would that words were ample to tell how Mrs. Wallace 
settled back in her chair, gaping first at her husband and 
then at the new girl, stunned with surprise and vainly trying 
to understand what it all meant. 

She saw Mr. Wallace reach awkwardly across the table and 
shake hands with the new girl and then she found voice to 
gasp: "Of all things!" 

Mr. Wallace was painfully embarrassed. He was wavering 
between his formal duty as an employer and his natural re- 
gard for an old friend. Anyway, it occurred to him that an 
explanation would be timely. 

"This is Effie Whittlesy from Brainerd," said he. "I used 
to go to school with her. She's been at our house often. I 
haven't seen her for — I didn't know you were in Chicago." 

"Well, Ed Wallace, you could knock me down with a 
feather," said Effie, who still stood in a flustered attitude a 
few paces back from the table. "I had no more idee when I 
heard the name Wallace that'd it be you, though knowin', of 



Effie Whittlesy 271 

course, you was up here. Wallace is such a common name I 
never give it a second thought. But the minute I saw you, 
law! I knew who it was well enough." 

"I thought you were still at Brainerd," said Mr. Wallace, 
after a pause. 

"I left there a year ago November, and came to visit 
Mort's people. Mort has a real nice place with the street-car 
company and is doin' well. I didn't want to be no burden on 
him, so I started out on my own hook, seein' that there was 
no use of going back to Brainerd to slave for $2 a week. I had 
a good place with Mr. Sanders, the railroad man on the north 
side, but I left because they wanted me to serve liquor. I'd 
about as soon handle a toad as a bottle of beer. Liquor was 
the ruination of Jesse. He's gone to the dogs, and been off 
with a circus somewhere for two years." 

"The family's all broken up, eh?" asked Mr. Wallace. 

"Gone to the four winds since mother died. Of course, you 
know that Lora married Huntford Thomas and is livin' on 
the old Murphy place. They're doin' so well." 

"Yes? That's good," said Mr. Wallace. 

Was this an old settlers' reunion or a quiet family dinner? 
The soup had been waiting. 

Mrs. Wallace came into the breach. 

"That will be all for the present, Effie," said she. Effie gave 
a startled "Oh!" and vanished into the kitchen. 

"What does this mean?" asked Mrs. Wallace, turning to 
her husband. "Bradley, behave!" This last was addressed to 
the 8-year-old, who had followed the example of his father 
and was snickering violently. 

"It means," said Mr. Wallace, "that we were children to- 
gether, made mud pies in the same puddle and sat next to 
each other in the old schoolhouse at Brainerd. The Whittlesy 
family was as poor as a church mouse, but they were all so- 
ciable — and freckled. Effie's a good girl." 

"Effie? Effie? And she called you Ed!" 

"My dear, you don't understand. We lived together in a 
small town where people don't stand on their dignity. She 
never called me anything but Ed, and everybody called her 
Effie. I can't put on any airs with her, because, to tell the 



272 Chicago Stories 

truth, she knows me too well. She's seen me licked in school 
and has been at our house, almost like one of the family, when 
mother was sick and we needed an extra girl. If my memory 
serves me right I took her to more than one school exhibition. 
I'm in no position to lord it over her and I wouldn't do it any- 
way. She's a good-hearted girl and I wouldn't want her to go 
back to Brainerd and say that she met me up here and I was 
too 'stuck up' to remember old times." 

"You took her to school exhibitions?" asked Mrs. Wal- 
lace, with a gasp and an elevation of the eyebrows. 

" Fifteen years ago, my dear — in Brainerd. I told you you 
wouldn't understand. You're not jealous, are you?" and he 
gave a side-wink at his son, who once more giggled. 

"Jealous! I'm only thinking how pleasant it will be when 
we give a dinner party to have her come in and address you 
as 'Ed.'" 

Mr. Wallace laughed as if he enjoyed the prospect, which 
led his wife to remark: "I really don't believe you'd care." 

"Well, are we going to have any dinner?" he asked. 

The soup had become cold and Effie brought in the next 
course. 

"Do you get the Brainerd papers?" she asked, when en- 
couraged by an amiable smile from Mr. Wallace. 

"Every week. I'll give you some of the late ones," and he 
had to bite his lips to keep from laughing, seeing that his 
wife was really in a worried state of mind. 
• * * * 

"Something must be done." 

Such was the edict issued by Mrs. Wallace. She said she 
had a sufficient regard for Effie, but she didn't propose to 
have every meal converted into a social session, with the 
servant girl playing the star part. 

"Never worry, my dear," said Mr. Wallace, "I'll arrange 

that. Leave it to me." 

* * * 

Effie was " doing up " the dishes when Mr. Wallace lounged 
up to the kitchen doorway and began his diplomatic campaign. 

His wife, seated in the front room, heard the prolonged 
purr of conversation. Ed and Effie were going over the family 



Effie Whittlesy 



2 73 




THEN A VERY STRANGE THING HAPPENED 



histories of Brainerd and recalling incidents that may have 
related to mud pies or school exhibitions. Somehow Mrs. 
Wallace did not feel entirely at ease, and yet she didn't want 
to go any nearer the conversation. It would have pleased her 
husband too well. 

This is how Ed came to the point. Mrs. Wallace really 
should have heard this part of it. 



274 Chicago Stories 

"Effie, why don't you go down and visit Lora for a month? 
She'd be glad to see you." 

"I know, Ed, but I can't hardly afford " 

" Pshaw! I can get you a ticket to Brainerd to-morrow, and 
it won't cost you anything down there." 

"But what'll your wife do? I know she ain't got any other 
help to look to." 

"To tell you the truth, Effie, you're an old friend of mine, 
and I don't like to see you here in my house except as a visi- 
tor. You know Chicago's different from Brainerd." 

"Ed Wallace, don't be foolish. I'd as soon work for you as 
any one, and a good deal sooner." 

"I know, but I wouldn't like to see my wife giving orders 
to an old friend, as you are. You understand, don't you?" 

"I don't know. I'll quit if you say so." 

"Tut! tut! I'll get you that ticket and you can start for 
Brainerd to-morrow. Promise me, now." 

"I'll go, and tickled enough, if that's the way you look at 
it." 

"And if you come back I can get you a dozen places to 

worL " * * * 

Next evening Effie departed by carriage, although protest- 
ing against the luxury. 

"Ed Wallace," said she, pausing in the hallway, "they 
never will believe me when I tell it in Brainerd." 

"Give them my best regards, and tell them I am the same 
as ever." 

"I'll do that. Good-by. Good-by." 

Mrs. Wallace, watching from the window, saw Effie disap- 
pear into the carriage. "Thank goodness," said she. 

"Yes," said Mr. Wallace, dryly, "I've invited her to call 
when she comes back." 

"To call-here? What shall I do?" 

"Don't you know what to do when she comes?" 

"Oh, of course I do. I didn't mean what I said." 

"That's right. I knew you'd take a sensible view of the 
thing — even if you never did live in Brainerd." 



Notes 



Notes 



^inley Peter Dunne ("Mr. Dooley") and Franklin P. Adams were 
born in Chicago. Ring Lardner was a native of Niles, Michigan. Eugene 
Field and Bert Leston Taylor came to Chicago as young men to seek dis- 
tinction in the newspaper world. John T. McCutcheon and George Ade 
were native Hoosiers, Ade being born in Kentland, Indiana, February 9, 
1866, and McCutcheon near South Raub, Tippecanoe County, May 6, 
1870. 

2 Ade, George. "Looking Back from Fifty," in Single Blessedness and 
Other Observations, N. Y., 1922, pp. 49-50. 

3 The idea of "Port of Humorists" belongs to Thomas L. Masson, and 
was expressed in his book, Our American Humorists, N. Y., 1922, p. no. 
The quotation is from the same source. 

4 Ade, George. "They Simply Wouldn't Let Me Be a High-Brow." 
American Magazine, December, 1920, Vol. 90, p. 50 et seq. Note that in 
the second reference (p. xxi) Mr. Ade confuses the order of the books 
with the order of appearance of the characters in the newspaper column, 
as discussed by the writer in the last paragraph of p. xxi. 

5 Ade, George. "I Knew Them When," in Notes and Reminiscences, 
Holiday Press: Chicago, 1940. Mr. Ade is not altogether correct when 
he says that the column was entirely anonymous. Ade's column was 
signed after September 3, 1898; and his initials "G. A." had appeared 
occasionally at earlier dates. 

6 The "Stories of the Streets and of the Town" were issued in eight 
series, as follows: 

First Series, April I, 1894. 

Second Series, July 1, 1894. 

Third Series, April 1, 1895. 

Fourth Series, October 1, 1895. 

Fifth Series, July 1, 1897. 

Sixth Series, July 1, 1898. 

Seventh Series, April 1, 1899. 

Eighth Series, July 1, 1900. 

7 Ade, George. One Afternoon With Mark Twain. The Mark Twain So- 
ciety of Chicago, 1939. Edited with notes by George Hiram Brownell. 
Pamphlet limited to 350 numbered copies. 

8 McCutcheon, John T. "George Ade" in Notes and Reminiscences, 
Holiday Press: Chicago, 1940. See also Sigma Chi Magazine, Sept. -Oct., 
1934, Vol. 53, No. 4. Other quotations in this section are adapted from 
the same source. 

9 Carl Werntz, Charles Sarka, and Clyde Newman have kindly written 
letters of reminiscences to the writer, but lack of space unfortunately pre- 
cludes printing them. 

277 



278 Chicago Stories 

10 McCutcheon, John T. "George Ade," Appletons Magazine, Novem- 
ber, 1907, p. 541. Also available in broadside form distributed by Mr. Ade. 

11 The illustrations in the Bandar Log Press pamphlets are entirely 
different from those in the original newspaper sketches which have been 
included in this volume. 

12 McCutcheon, John T. "George Ade," Appletons Magazine, Novem- 
ber, 1907, p. 541. 

13 Mr. Hosking writes that his little magazine (i2mo in size) ran for only 
a few issues, and expired. The issue devoted to George Ade was October, 
1898, Vol. 1, No. 5. 

14 Howells, William Dean. In Literature, July 2, 1898, p. 758. 

15 Howells, William Dean. "Certain of the Chicago School of Fiction," 
in The North American Review, May, 1903, Vol. 176, pp. 739-743. 

16 Mencken, Henry L. Prejudices. First Series, N. Y., 1919, Ch. IX, 
"George Ade." 

17 William Dean Howells has included this story in his anthology of 
America's greatest short stories, Great Modern American Stories, N. Y., 
1920. In his Introduction, p. xiii, Mr. Howells says, "In this collection 
there is nothing humaner or more humane than Mr. George Ade's quite 
perfect study of real life, 'Effie Whittlesy.' It is a contribution to 
American fiction of a value far beyond most American novels; and the 
American small town which has often shrunken into the American City 
lives again here in its characteristic personality." The story "Effie 
Whittlesy" appeared originally in The Chicago Record, March 13, 1896. 






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